Plant Based Diet
Plant Based Diet
By | April 25th, 2013 | Modified - January 18th, 2015

Benefits Of Soaking Almonds

Should I Soak Almonds
Should I Soak Almonds

As I travel my vegan diet journey I learn a lot and I make modifications to my diet. I scrutinize all the information I come in contact with, even information that is generally accepted and followed, and wondered should you soak almonds before eating them.

Why Do You Soak Almonds?

As far as alternative medicine is concerned it is generally accepted that we should sprout nuts and seeds to unleash their full nutritional value by activating their enzymes. I must say I don’t soak almonds all the time, but I do soak them half the time and I have reasons for doing this.

Soaked Almonds Nutritional Value

Activates Almond Enzymes And Improves Digestion

The number one reason to soak almonds is to sprout them and activate their enzymes. Almond skin contains enzyme inhibitors that protects the almond until the proper levels of sunlight and water allow it to germinate. The belief is that activating the enzymes in the almond allows better digestion and access to its nutrients. To sprout almonds you would soak them overnight.

How To Soak Almonds Overnight?

To sprout almonds you soak almonds overnight for 10 to 12 hours, After 10 to 12 hours you remove the almonds from the water, rinse them, and place them on a wet towel for 12 hours. After 12 hours you will see white spots at the tip of the almond indicating that it has sprouted. It generally takes between one and three days for the almonds to sprout.

Though it makes sense to me that activating the enzymes in almonds makes digestion of its nutrients easier, some will give blanket statements saying that the nutrients in almonds are wasted if you don’t soak almonds and activate the enzymes, and scientifically I don’t agree with this.

Our bodies have their own enzymes that digest the almonds and break them down into their components. Yes some nutritional may be lost if you don’t soak the almonds, but it is not like there is no nutritional value in eating un-soaked almonds.

Now if we don’t soak the almonds and remove the skin, the tannins in the skin can interfere with digestion. Tannins bind to and interfere with the digestion of proteins, carbohydrates, and cellulose. Removing the almond skin removes this issue with properly digesting almonds.

Soaking almonds makes almonds softer and easier to chew.

What They Don’t Tell You About Raw Almonds

If you eat processed or roasted almonds, the process kills the enzymes. To avoid this people will eat raw almonds. The problem with even eating raw almonds is that ones we buy from stores are pasteurized and the pasteurization process kills the enzymes.

U.S. law requires all almonds grown in the U.S. to be pasteurized, but the USDA still allows these processed almonds to be called raw even though they no longer are. Farmers can sell unpasteurized almonds but not to food distributors or markets so you have to get them from roadside merchants.

Benefits Of Not Soaking Almonds And Removing Skins

Though almond skins contain tannins they are low in tannins, and they contain less tannins than other nuts like hazelnuts, walnuts, and pecans that contain high amounts of tannins. So almond skins contain less tannins to interfere with digestion, and human saliva also contains proline-rich proteins which inactivate tannins.

So if we chose to eat almonds with the skins we are able to digest the almonds and gain its nutrients, though maybe not as efficiently as if we ate soaked almonds without the skins. Also the almond skin is made of insoluble fiber which helps to clean the digestive tract.

Almond skins contain a combination of antioxidants and vitamin E which work together synergistically to protect cells from being damaged by free radicals, and research suggests that this combination in almond skins work synergistically to prevent LDL cholesterol from being oxidized, promoting heart health.

What Does This Mean For The Almonds I Eat?

I basically soak almonds half the time I eat them. They taste a little different both ways and since I like how they taste both ways, I eat them both ways. I also eat a lot of almonds so soaking half of the almonds and removing their skin will reduce some of my tannin intake, give me the opportunity to find some of them sprouted, plus not overtax my digestive with an enormous amount of insoluble fiber.

Eating the other half of the almonds not soaked, I gain the benefits of the nutrients in the the almond skin and the insoluble fiber to help clean my digestive tract. I guess a just found a balance.

Next Page» Almond benefits

Cornell -Tannins

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About Author:

I obtained a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University, a BA in Organizational Behavior and Communications from NYU, worked as an elementary school teacher, and have studied social work. I am a web designer/developer and I enjoy boxing, kick boxing, cycling, power walking, and basically anything challenging, and my plant based diet supports all that I do. Eating a plant based diet and exercising is a great way to achieve healthy living. ~ Natural Life Energy

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  • Rajee Ramesh says:

    This article about almonds is very nice and it gives me a clear understanding about almonds.
    My doubt is shall I take soaked almond along with fruits as breakfast?
    Thanks in advance.

  • Diane Gordon says:

    Hello Aqiyl, I eat 5 or 6 raw almonds every morning because I heard from an Indian nana that in India they believe that this will help with one’s memory. I then read online that the skins should be removed because they prevent the nutrients from getting adequately absorbed in the body. So I have been doing simply soaking them in boiled water for 2 minutes or so and then slipping the skins off with my fingers. I then wait for them to dry in a strainer and put them in a jar for the week. would seem that Mother Nature would have made a perfect food if only we chew it with our teeth and mash it up in our mouths. I like you idea every much of eating them both ways… alternating skin on or skin off…for the best of both worlds, yes? I have a related question I can’t seem to find the answer to. Maybe you can help? I have recently begun eating 10 Bitter Apricot Pits a day because I had breast cancer recently and don’t want to go on conventional prescription medicine for to help prevent a recurrence. I notice that the pits have the exact same skin as the almonds do. So…I am wondering if I should remove them as well? Since I am eating 5 in the morning and 5 in the evening I could use your method of blanching one bunch or the other. One article I read said that the cancer fighting amygdalin or B17 is reduced if the skins are removed and the pits are soaked. I am so confused. The reason for eating Bitter rather than Sweet Pits (which probably taste a lot better) is because the Bitters contain more of the B17…More bang for the buck, right? So….should I just trust Ma Nature and chew them really well and be done with it?….or should I do the quick boiled water soak and skin them? What do you think or know about his? Any links would also be helpful. Thank you! And stay healthy!

    • Aqiyl says:

      Hi Diane. I am cautious to response to your question because it seems like you are trying to use the foods as dose medicine and it doesn’t work like that. If your diet consists of a lot of animal-based protein and processed foods, the use of the foods you listed in their quantity will have a minimal effect on the body. In general plant-based diet will remove the harmful substances meat and process food consumption introduce into the body. This by itself gives cancer less fuel to grow. The various and numerous forms of phytonutrients in plant foods help to alkalize and neutralize disease in the body. As far as number I can say I can easily eat 50 almonds in a day and will get much more benefit than eating 5-6. I don’t have any experience eating apricot pits.

      • Diane Gordon says:

        Thank you for your reply. I don’t eat meat as a rule and have switched to a very healthy diet since being diagnosed. I AM using the apricot pits medicinally, along with many other food based additions to my daily diet…they can’t do harm and can only help the body’s immunity. I have decided to continue blanching my almonds and not the apricot pits. The pits have to be chewed well anyway so by the time they go down the skins are pretty well dissolved. Stay healthy!! Sincerely, Diane

  • Amy says:

    It would make the article seem more… Idk… authoritative? if you used the term ‘digestive tract’ instead of ‘digestive track’

  • Ruchika says:

    Hi! Aqiyl,

    Nice article. I have a 5yr. old daughter, she doesn’t like to eat soaked almonds but she eats raw almonds.
    I was told by somebody that raw almonds should not be given specially to girls as it produces heat inside.
    Is there any truth in this?

    • Aqiyl says:

      No truth as far as I know. I have never heard this before. Who ever you heard this from ask for some literature to backup the claim. What is the problem with producing heat inside anyway.

  • Sibby says:

    Hello Aqiyl

    I have heard that Almonds also can boost one’s memory and intellectual capacity. How true is this ?

    • Aqiyl says:

      Hi Sibby but it is not truer than most wholefoods that are protective for the brain. Certain omega3 fatty acids or vitamins like vitamin E that are found in almonds and other plant based wholefoods are protective of the brain. Almonds are not a “cure” in itself to protect the brain. You should also eat a plant based wholefood diet which is nutrient dense and protects against inflammation, while removing processed foods that add harmful chemicals that attack brain processes.

  • linda says:

    Hi Aqiyl,

    Since i allready peeled my almonds, I was actually wondering if I could use aldmond skins as a fiber (in stead of wheat fibers) in home made cookies.
    From your article i gather they do have nutrionional value as well. So i’ll give it a try later.
    First my experiment to make almond paste with ground apricots in stead of sugar

    • Aqiyl says:

      Yes you can use the almond skins to make your cookies. I wouldn’t think of just using the skins and would use the whole almond. Let me know how they come out.

  • priya says:

    Hi Aqiyl,
    can i know by eating soaked almonds will i gain weight.

    • Aqiyl says:

      Hi Priya,

      Sorry for the late response, I thought I already responded to your question. It all depends if they can make you gain weight. It depends on your weigh now and if you are overweight or you adding almonds on top of the foods you already eat. If you are replacing bad fatty foods with almonds then yes the will make you lose weight.

  • JAY says:

    Hi Aqiyl
    I have never tried eating soaked almond. After knowing that it improves digestion and activates the almonds enzymes, will surely try once eating overnight soaked almonds.
    JAY recently posted…10 Amazing Health Benefits of AlmondsMy Profile


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