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Should you soak your nuts? Soaking nuts is a practice that has gained popularity in recent years. Many health-conscious individuals believe that soaking nuts can improve their digestibility and nutrient absorption. Soaking involves

Should You Soak Your Nuts?

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As ever: if the question/request can be answered briefly, we’ll do it here in our Q&A Thursday edition. If not, we’ll make a main feature of it shortly afterwards!

So, no question/request too big or small 😎

❝hi. how many almonds should one eat per day? do they need to be soaked? thank you.❞

Within reason, however many you like! Given that protein is an appetite suppressant, you’ll probably find it’s not too many.

Dr. Michael Greger, of “How Not To Die” fame, suggests aiming for 30g of nuts per day. Since almonds typically weigh about 1g each, that means 30 if it’s all almonds.

And if you’re wondering about 10 almonds? The name’s a deliberate reference to an old internet hoax about 10 almonds being the equivalent of an aspirin for treating a headache. It’s a reminder to be open-mindedly skeptical about information circulating wildly, and look into the real, evidence-based, science of things.

  • Sometimes, the science validates claims, and we’re excited to share that!
  • Sometimes, the science just shoots claims down, and it’s important to acknowledge when that happens too.

On which note, about soaking…

Short version: soaking can improve the absorption of some nutrients, but not much more than simply chewing thoroughly. See:

Soaking does reduce certain “antinutrients” (compounds that block absorption of other nutrients), such as phytic acid. However, even a 24-hour soak reduces them only by about 5%:

Determination of d-myo-inositol phosphates in “activated” raw almonds using anion-exchange chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry

If you don’t want to take 24-hours to get a 5% benefit, there’s good news! A 12-hour soak can result in 4% less phytic acid in chopped (but not whole) almonds:

The Effect of Soaking Almonds and Hazelnuts on Phytate and Mineral Concentrations

Lest that potentially underwhelming benefit leave a bitter taste in your mouth, one good thing about soaking almonds (if you don’t like bitter tastes, anyway) is that it will reduce their bitterness:

Bitter taste, phytonutrients, and the consumer: a review

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