Nuts like almonds, and dals or lentils like toor or chana are usually first soaked in water before they are consumed or cooked, especially in Indian kitchens. But have you ever wondered why?
Of course, doing so helps reduce the cooking time, but it also has numerous health benefits.
Nutritionist Nmami Agarwal took to Instagram to share how soaking nuts and lentils is one of the best health hacks when it comes to optimum nutrition.
“Nuts like almonds provide healthy protein, beneficial fibre, and lots of vitamins and nutrients. Improper preparation, however, can lead to uncomfortable bloat because these foods are dense and can be difficult to digest on their own,” she said.
Soaking helps reduce anti-nutrient content, reduces gas or bloating and provides more nutrition to the body, she added.
Experts say nuts and lentils have a cover of phytic acid which is necessary for their growth but is also known to cause digestive issues in humans as well certain nutrient deficiencies. According to WebMD, while all plants contain phytic acid, legumes, nuts and grains contain the highest levels.
Soaking also reduces tannins and polyphenols levels which helps increase the body’s ability to absorb minerals including iron, zinc, and calcium, as well as proteins found in foods such as chickpeas, and peas, mentionde Agarwal.
How to soak right?
*Soaking for two-eight hours is recommended.
*Drain and refill the water when soaking uncooked beans and lentils. Re-filling with fresh water one or two times during the soaking period helps to decrease gas and bloating that may result from eating these foods.