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Many people follow their grandmother’s advice when they soak almonds before eating them, while others may want to get rid of the slightly bitter taste of its peel. What if you think overnight soaking of the nutritious nuts is too much of a hassle? Are soaked almonds actually better than its raw or roasted form? Let’s find out from a dietician.
Almonds are packed with nutrients and an excellent source of fibre, proteins, Vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, copper, phosphorous…and the list goes on. From weight loss, good bone health, improving your moods, lowering risk of heart diseases, cancer to diabetes, many health studies vouch by the many benefits of a regular consumption of almonds. As per a study, people can reduce their breast cancer risk by consuming higher quantities of peanuts, walnuts, and almonds, compared with those who did not. Another one proves that almonds significantly increased the levels of antioxidants in the bloodstream, lowers blood pressure, and improves blood flow. Type 2 Diabetes patients too benefit by consumption of almonds as the magnesium helps to manage blood sugar levels.
After coming to know about so many benefits of almonds, if you are heading towards your kitchen to take a handful of them, here’s a reminder to soak them overnight first. That’s correct. Eating almonds after soaking them can significantly improve their health benefits by way of better nutrient availability and digestibility.
Shruti Bharadwaj, Senior Clinical Dietician, Narayana Hrudayalaya Multispeciality Hospital Ahmedabad, tells us more about what happens when you soak your almonds before consuming them.
1. Improves digestibility: In terms of digestion, soaked almonds are better than raw or roasted. Anything that we soak, be it almonds or any other thing, is easy to chew and softer for the digestive system to break down. Almond is a rich source of antioxidants and when we soak them, the benefits multiply.
2. More nutrition: When we soak almonds, its nutrient-availability gets better and when we eat them the benefits of antioxidants and fibre get enhanced. The process of soaking also removes impurities that could prevent absorption of certain nutrients.
3. Aids weight loss: When we soak almonds, it releases few enzymes like lipase which boosts our metabolism and aids in weight loss.
4. Removes phytic acid: When we do not soak almonds, the phytic acid in them is not removed which ultimately hinders nutrient absorption. So if you are having raw almonds, the zinc and iron in them are not properly utilized by the body.
It is better to eat soaked almonds especially in old age when digestive issues and dental problems may be on rise, as the process of soaking helps to make them soft and easy to digest.