This week I continue to share the tips and techniques I have learned from the authors of Becoming Raw to create a balanced diet that will promote heath. Instead of continuing to focus on individual ingredients, I want to arm you all with a few simple ways to boost the benefit of the nutrients you already consume.
Today let’s discuss the benefits of hanging out in water (aka soaking).
When I woke up this morning Toronto was getting a cleansing dose of rain. I know that will result in cleaner streets, greener parks and the fresher smell of spring. After a long run or a stressful day I find a hot bath makes all the difference in my attitude (I know this is a luxury soon lost in parenthood so I’m enjoying it now). So, it is no surprise that a good soak can also have a really positive effect on a number of foods.
Soaking is a common practice in the raw food lifestyle but many people may be unaware of how this practice impacts the nutritional status of foods. Let me give you the details in an easy-to-digest bulleted list:
- Many foods contain compounds called phytates.
- Phytates bind to minerals and cannot be broken down during normal human digestion (so we lose out on the nutritional benefits of eating these foods)
- Soaking breaks down the phytate-mineral bond and frees up calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium for absorption in our intestine (a pretty important bunch of minerals for our bones, immunity and energy).
- Soaking also destroys enzyme inhibitors and improves digestion (possibly lowering the amount of protein and other nutrients you need to consume in order to meet your body’s needs).
Are you a soaker (either in the tub or in the kitchen)?
What is your favourite way to use soaked nuts, seeds or grains?
In other news, the Book Publishing Co. has graciously allowed me to post 4 recipes from Becoming Raw, so I want your help in deciding which ones to post. Let’s start with a selection of salads. Would you prefer to see the recipe for:
- Brilliant Broccoli Salad;
- Elegant Greens with Strawberries, Almonds and Orange-Poppy Seed Dressing; or
- Three-Melon Salad?