Sprouting & Dehydrating: Seeds, Nuts and Sprouts
Nuts and seeds are concentrated foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.
Soaking and Dehydrating Nuts Augments Digestion
Nuts have numerous enzyme inhibitors and are best soaked or partially sprouted to make their nutrients most nontoxic and assimilable before eating. Therefore, raw nuts are significantly easier to digest if they are first soaked in salt water (a little tamari and Celtic or Himalayan salt adds to the taste) and then dried in a warm oven or dehydrator — and they make a great snack.
The dry-roasted nuts from your local supermarket are not a good option; most are rancid by the time you buy them. Walnuts have large amounts of triple unsaturated linolenic acid and should be stored in the refrigerator, whereas almonds, pecans, cashews, macadamia nuts, and peanuts can be stored for many months at room temperature after soaking and dehydrating.
Sprouting Sprouts: The Benefits of Sprouting Seeds
The value of sprouting seeds has been known for centuries, beginning with the ancient Chinese, who on their oceangoing ships took along mung beans to sprout, which produced vitamin C, thus preventing scurvy on board. Sprouting also increases seeds’ vitamin B and carotene levels, activates enzymes, inactivates carcinogenic aflatoxins, and neutralizes phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors.
One popular seed that should never be sprouted or eaten in any form is alfalfa. Alfalfa seeds contain an amino acid called canavanine that can be toxic, and research has shown that alfalfa sprouts can inhibit immune system functioning and contribute to inflammatory arthritis and lupus.
Sprouting for Nutrition and Health
Nutritious seeds that can be sprouted include sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, chia, and radish. Chia seeds are second only to flax in their content of omega-3 fatty acids, and they are commonly used in baking in Mexico to promote endurance and energy.
Grains (wheat, rye, barley, and buckwheat) and beans (mung, adzuki, kidney, lima, and lentils) also germinate well.
This articles has been adapted from the book:
Radical Medicine: Cutting-Edge Natural Therapies That Treat the Root Causes of Disease
by Louisa L. Williams. ©2011
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Healing Arts Press, a division of Inner Traditions International. www.innertraditions.com. ©2011.
CLICK HERE for more info or to order this book on Amazon.
About the Author
Louisa L. Williams, M.S., D.C., N.D., received her doctoral training in naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University. She also holds a master’s degree in psychology and a degree in chiropractic. In 1984 she founded the Seattle Health Clinic, which specializes in environmental medicine and detoxification. She now lives and practices naturopathic medicine in Marin County, California. Visit her at: radicalmedicine.com or marinnaturopathicmedicine.com