How To Eat Almonds
Almonds are usually eaten unprepared. This is a shame, because properly prepared almonds contain significantly fewer phytates and enzyme inhibitors than their counterparts – almonds straight from the bag.
What are phytates and enzyme inhibitors? Phytates and enzyme inhibitors are anti-nutrients that prevent your body from absorbing minerals and beneficial enzymes that increase vitamins, increase protein absorption, and aid in digestion. They are commonly found on the outside of grains, seeds and nuts.
This means that if you consume phytate and enzyme inhibitor-containing food then your body is not fully getting all of the nutrition it would be otherwise. Eating foods that are high in enzyme inhibitors can also cause digestion problems, which is commonly documented by those who eat large amounts of nuts or seeds that were not properly prepared. Not to be outdone, phytates have been labeled as one of the main causes of anemia by the World Health Organization.
So, is it possible to enjoy the taste of almonds and get their positive nutritional properties without consuming high levels of phytates and enzyme inhibitors? Luckily it is, and the way to do it is to soak and/or roast the almonds. Many traditional cultures soak and then dehydrate their nuts and seeds in the sun.
To soak almonds, first dissolve some sea salt in warm water. The sea salt not only will add flavor to the almonds but will also help further deactivate the enzyme inhibitors. Then, toss your almonds in the now salty water (they should be fully submerged) and allow them to stay in the water overnight.
Once your almonds are soaked, they need to be dehydrated. Stick them in either a food dehydrator or oven at less than 150 degrees and allow them to fully dry. This will likely take a whole day. At this point, a lot of anti-nutrients will have been destroyed and the almonds are suitable to eat!
Some people like to roast the almonds in an oven or on a stove-top after the dehydration process, which potentially can further decrease the anti-nutrient levels in almonds. Personally, I just dehydrate my almonds, but roasting your almonds will increase their crunch.
Soaking and dehydrating your almonds will: Increase the consumption of minerals and beneficial enzymes, increase the vitamins in the body, facilitate digestion, increase absorption of proteins, prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss, and keep the colon clean.
Now you know how to properly prepare almonds!