To accompany the eating content of my upcoming book, The Hormone Solutions, I’m finally sharing the guide I give out in practice for the process of soaking and spouting. You don’t need a big dehydrator to make it work, just do the best with the resources you have (aka, an oven). So let’s talk about why we soak and sprout foods for good health and good hormones.
are you absorbing the nutrients in your food?
Grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds are nutrient-dense foods that contribute to optimal health when properly prepared. Proper preparation of these foods includes methods of soaking, sprouting, fermenting, and natural leavening.
These foods in their raw form contain anti-nutrient properties that contribute to nutrient malabsorption and digestion complications. If you think about nature’s design, these anti-nutrient properties are actually part of a brilliant process. Agriculture was not always a part of our ancestors means to eating. Plants needed to proliferate without the aid of humans, and they did so with the help of animals. An animal would eat a plant, and to keep from being killed off by digestion it utilized its protective, anti-nutrient properties. This mechanism got the plant to a new location where it could then be fertilized and sprout upon the animal defecation.
Because agriculture is the means by which you nourish yourself, you have to actively get rid of anti-nutrients properties in your foods. When you eat raw grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, you want to absorb their nutrients. Anti- nutrient properties block the absorption of certain nutrients in our GI tracts while also making foods containing them more difficult to digest. Through proper preparation, your health benefits in the long haul.
It’s not enough to think that buying organic grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds is the “healthiest” option. While it’s ideal to buy organic to avoid pesticides that damage the microbial balance in your gut, it makes no difference if their nutrients can’t be absorbed.
soaking vs. sprouting
Soaking grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds is the precursor mechanism to sprouting. As discussed, soaking has a plethora of benefits. Fermentation does not happen in the soaking process, whereas sprouting would be one step closer to fermentation.
All grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds all foods will sprout for us at home. All grains and legumes can be sprouted. As for nuts and seeds, only almonds, flax, pumpkin, and sunflower will sprout. Sprouting takes a few days time unlike soaking, and for the sake of convenience it is not necessary to absorb adequate nutrients.
Grains and legumes require an acidic medium to release their anti-nutrient properties. Nuts and seeds, on the other hand, only require sea salt to break down anti-nutrients. If you're not into the idea of soaking and sprouting yourself, there are plenty of companies you can buy products ready-to-eat. Eden Foods, Go Raw, Healthy Flour, Blue Mountain Organics, and One Degree Organics are some of my favorite sprouted brands to buy.