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If we think of an unbeatable healthy snack, it has to be nuts and dry fruits. We eat them as they are packed with healthy fats and protein. While we know how a healthy diet should consist of nuts and dry fruits, it is an ongoing debate whether to soak the nuts before consuming or just pop them as they are in their true form.
So, is it really necessary to soak the nuts? Nutritionist Zubeda Tumbi, founder of Health Watch Nutrition Clinic says, “Yes, absolutely!
“Soaking will help with germination, upping their nutritional content. Seed covers of nuts consist of phytates and oxalates that avoid nutrients, especially, B- vitamins to absorb properly. Soaking helps to undo the effect of these phytates and makes the nuts easier for digestion. Proteins in the nuts get partially digested because of soaking. It is therefore good to soak nuts before consuming,” Dr Tumbi tells HealthShots.
“While dry fruits like raisins, apricots and prunes, should be rinsed well and soaked in clean water so that the sulphites used to preserve them gets removed from their surface.”, adds Dr Zubeida Tumbi.
Raw nuts consist of phytic acid which is also found in grains and legumes. It is essential to soak for proper digestion, just as we soak grains and legumes.
These are a few reasons why un-soaked nuts and dry fruits are hard to digest. Soaking the nuts neutralises the enzyme inhibitors allowing for a proper digestion. Thus, reaping the complete nutritional benefits from the dry fruits.
Soaking the dry fruits can also enhance their flavour and increase their nutritional value. The soaked variety tend to blend smoothly and give a creamy texture to smoothies and curries.