How and why you need to activate your nuts!

When moving over to a Paleo/ LCHF type diet, you may find yourself consuming a few more nuts and seeds than your previous diet. More than the handful you used to maybe have at Christmas anyhow. Especially if you like to bake the occasional treat, make crackers or make some delicious nut milk.

Our bodies were not designed to process a lot of nuts. If you don’t take the time to activate your nuts, it could lead to an array of digestive problems.

Our digestive tracts find it hard to extract the minerals and nutrients from uncooked nuts and seeds, and boy there are lots of them that you won’t want disappearing down the toilet.

Cooking or soaking nuts and seeds releases the toxic substances and nutritional inhibitors including; phytates, tannins, and goitrogens, which bind the minerals and make these nutrients easier for the body to extract and utilise for maximum digestibility. Unfortunately the nuts that have not been activated still carry enzyme inhibitors, which can block the action of trypsin and other protein digesting enzymes, which are essential to digestion and absorbing the nutrients from the nuts and can produce serious gastric distress. Therefore soaking in filtered water with salt (activating) your nuts and seeds increase the amount of minerals, vitamins (especially B Vitamins) and protein readily available for absorption. Hurray! So get soaking now!

When I come in on a Friday or Saturday after I have completed my shopping for the following week, all my nuts get popped into salty water and various times of the evening and left over night. To dry them back to a hard crunchy nut, I place them in single layers on tin trays with parchment paper and dry them slowly in the oven at a low temperature. If you have a hydrator, I imagine that would be better. But for now my oven works just fine. Sometimes drying times can take a whole day or night, so plan you meals around not needing the oven.

Activating Your Nuts Time Chart

Nut or Seed Soak Time
Almond 8 – 12 hrs
Brazil Not necessary
Cashew 2-3 hrs
Hazelnut 8-12 hrs
Macadamia Not necessary
Pecan 2-6 hrs
Pistachio Not necessary
Walnut 4-8 hrs
Pinenut Not necessary
Hemp Not necessary
Flax 8 hrs
Sunflower 4-8 hrs
Sesame 8 hrs
pepitas 8-12 hrs



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