Activated seeds – benefits for our guts

Seeds are a great source of health benefits, and they can also help improve the gut microbiome. Microbes in our stomachs have already predigested the seeds we consume, so this is why they are easier for us to digest than other foods. This blog post will explore one example of how seeds can benefit your gut microbiome.

October 5, 2021

Benefits for our stomache

The consumption of flaxseed has been studied for its effects on colonic motility, reduced risk of diverticulitis, and increased stool frequency. These may be due to the high content of lignans found in flaxseed which act as prebiotics that promote healthy bacteria levels in gut microbiota. A variety will provide you with a multitude of benefits.

For anyone following a plant-based diet, it can be difficult to find good sources of protein that don’t involve animal products. Luckily, there are many options for vegetarians and vegans alike – one option being legumes. Legumes come in all shapes and sizes and offer different nutrients; lentils offer an excellent source of protein, fiber, folate, potassium, magnesium, and iron. To get the most out of your legume consumption, you may want to consider activating them before eating them, as they are hardier when soaked or sprouted. This article will talk about the benefits of activated seeds, nuts and legumes for our guts!

Activating seeds, such as flax or chia seeds, with a process called gelatinization may help improve gut health by making nutrients more available.

The activation of certain seed types can make them healthier and easier to digest for those suffering from digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

What are activated nuts? And what are their health benefits?

Nuts are healthy for being a good source of essential fats, minerals, protein, and antioxidants. Especially for vegans, vegetarians, and people who eat less meat, nuts are a substantial part of their diet. But do they have any downsides? They may make us feel full, heavy and can be rough on our digestion. If you want to enjoy nuts in larger quantities and still have a good gut feeling, we recommend activated nuts.

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Why activated seeds & nuts?

Nuts and seeds contain natural chemicals called phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. The enzyme inhibitors are good for the nuts because they prevent them from sprouting prematurely. But they are not so for us because they can clog the metabolic enzymes in our body, which play an important role in processing the food we eat. This makes nuts hard to digest. Phytic acid can bind to minerals, such as iron, zinc, manganese, and, to a lesser extent, calcium and slow or prevent their absorption. This makes the minerals and their beneficial qualities less available to the body. Soaking nuts in water neutralizes the natural chemicals, the amount of starch and fiber reduces, and the protein and vitamin content increases. Nuts become easier to digest and more nutritious than non-activated ones.

Nutrients in nuts and seeds

Overall, nuts have very similar macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate, and fat) profiles, but different nuts may have slightly different micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) content.

Nuts have about 29 kJ (6.9 kcal) of energy per gram and are:

  • high in monounsaturated fats (most nut types) and polyunsaturated fats (mainly walnuts)
  • low in saturated fats
  • Good sources of dietary protein, hence a good alternative to animal proteins. Some nuts are also high in amino acid arginine, which keeps blood vessels healthy
  • free of dietary cholesterol
  • high in dietary fiber
  • rich in phytochemicals that act as antioxidants
  • Rich in vitamins E, B6, niacin, and folate, they provide magnesium, zinc, plant iron, calcium, copper, selenium, phosphorus, and potassium.

Like nuts, most seeds are rich in protein, healthy fats, fibre, minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, plant iron, and zinc, and contain vitamins B1, B2, B3, and vitamin E. Oily seeds also contain antioxidants that stop the fats from going rancid too quickly.
Due to the unique nutrient profiles of nuts and seeds, they are known to provide several health benefits, including:

  • Helping with weight regulation
  • Reducing risk for heart disease
  • Reducing risk for diabetes.
seeds and nuts

Seeds, nuts, and body weight

Although nuts and seeds are high in energy and fats, eating nuts is not associated with weight gain. In fact, based on large population studies, higher nut intake is associated with lower body weight.
When included as part of a weight-loss diet, nuts have been shown to promote further weight loss and fat loss in the abdominal region. Lower fat in the abdominal region means a lower risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Therefore, nuts can be part of a healthy diet. The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend the daily consumption of 30 grams of nuts per day.

Nuts assist with weight regulation in several ways:

  • Fat absorption – fats in nuts are not fully digested and absorbed by the body. Research shows that only 68 to 94 percent of fats from nuts are absorbed
  • Hunger and fullness – nut consumption promotes fullness and suppresses hunger or the desire to eat. As a result, food intake is reduced. This effect is due to the protein, fat, and fiber content of nuts
  • Energy expenditure – some research suggests that eating nuts can increase the amount of energy we burn. Another study shows that the energy we burn following a nut-enriched meal comes from fat sources, meaning that we burn fat and store less fat in the body.

Lower fat absorption, reduced food intake, and greater energy expenditure collectively contribute to the weight regulating effects of nuts. The effect of seeds on body weight has not been researched extensively but is likely to be similar to that of nuts as they are also high in protein, healthy fat, and fiber.

Seeds, nuts, and heart disease

Frequent nut consumption has been associated with a lower risk of dying from heart disease at a population level. This may be explained by nuts being rich sources of healthy unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals.
Although high in fats, nuts are good sources of healthy fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and they are low in (unhealthy) saturated fats. This combination of fats makes them heart-healthy, as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or the ‘bad’ cholesterol in the body.

LDL cholesterol can contribute to the build-up of plaque inside the arteries, which causes them to become narrow (a process known as atherosclerosis) and can lead to coronary heart disease.

Besides reducing LDL cholesterol, nuts also help maintain healthy blood vessels and blood pressure through their arginine content and reduce inflammation in the body through their high antioxidant content.

Who can benefit from activated nuts?

When you eat activated nuts, you may notice that you don’t feel as full and heavy as after eating them raw since they are gentler on your digestive system. Being a great source of protein, nuts and seeds are an important part of vegan and vegetarian diets. In this case, activated nuts can be particularly beneficial since they are consumed in larger quantities and regularly. If you are not vegan, nor vegetarian, just mad about nuts – you may find yourself snacking on nuts any time of the day. Activated nuts make you feel good even if you get carried away.

Eating protein-rich food is very important for pregnant women. Especially if they are pregnant with twins. A handful of soaked almonds daily can help reduce allergies in babies; macadamia is rich in folate, which is essential during pregnancy; walnuts can help boost the baby’s brain functions like learning abilities and memory. Breastfeeding mothers need a lot of nutrients like Vitamin E, Vitamin B2, B3, and B1. It is also a rich source of minerals like Magnesium, Copper, Phosphorus, Calcium, Iron, and Zinc that can be алсо found in almonds. To get as much as possible from those nutrients, we recommend activated nuts.

Different kinds of nuts have different nutritional qualities. Some contain more calcium, others more vitamin E.

How to preserve the health benefits of nuts: how to activate nuts and seeds

If you’re looking for a way to boost your balanced diet and seek new healthy food to eat, then look no further than activated nuts!
The different health benefits of nuts:

There are a wide variety of nuts available in all different shapes and sizes. The following nuts offer us a wide range of nutrients and health benefits.

  • Almonds are calcium-rich and help protect and maintain your bones. They are also high in antioxidant vitamin E, which is great news for your skin.
  • Cashews have a high protein level and have a handful of important minerals, including zinc, iron, and magnesium, which can help delay age-related memory loss.
  • Walnuts are a great source of mono-unsaturated fats, which play a role in lowering bad cholesterol levels. They are also very rich in omega -3 and can help reduce depression.
  • Hazelnuts are rich in magnesium and Vitamin B, and E. They are a great aid to your heart and can help reduce the risk of cancer.
  • Pecans are rich in antioxidants and great for lowering cholesterol. They are packed full of vitamin B3, which can help boost energy.

Bursting full of good stuff!

As you can see, the health benefits of nuts are so many! They’re packed with beneficial minerals, fiber, protein, and essential fats (that’s the good kind of fat).

This is very beneficial for your health, especially if you consume them as part of a balanced diet.

A great healthy snack
Nuts work great as a healthy snack as they can be quite filling due to their fiber and fat content. This is perfect for dieters looking for a way to lose a bit of weight, as they help keep hunger at bay.

They can also help those who are trying to gain weight. As a great source of protein and healthy fats, and good portion control, they can be a great accompaniment to meals.

Antinutrients
Although nuts and seeds are a fantastic healthy food to eat, they contain antinutrients, natural chemicals called phytic acid, and enzyme inhibitors that fully stop the body from absorbing all these great nutrients (going against the whole point of eating nuts as a healthy food in the first place). Also, they can be quite rough on our digestive system.
Consuming large amounts of raw nuts may lead to the feeling of heaviness, bloating, nausea, and other uncomfortable digestive issues.

How to solve the problem with nuts and digestion? The answer is activated nuts!

How to activate nuts and seeds?

To activate nuts and seeds, you need to soak them in water and then dehydrate them at a low temperature.

The process of soaking nuts and seeds helps to remove the phytic acid and breaks down the enzyme inhibitors. To get back their crunchiness and preserve their nutrients, you need to dehydrate them again at low temperatures, ideally until they are completely dry. After activating, the nourishing substances are more available to the body, and you can easily digest the nuts and seeds.

Each type of nuts and seeds has different soaking and drying times.
We use this process to deliver the best quality breakfasts with nuts and seeds and take the process of activation out of your hands so you spend more time enjoying them. Activated nuts and seeds are high in protein, essential fats, dietary fiber, antioxidants, and minerals, and most importantly, they are yummy.

So, in a nutshell, if you are looking for healthy food for your balanced diet, activated nuts and seeds are your best friend.

Are there any other foods that need to be activated?

The same antinutrients are also present in seeds and legumes. If you like topping your salads with pumpkin or sunflower seeds, or if you use them for baking and cooking, you can leave them to soak overnight in filtered water first, rinse them well, and then let them dry on a tray in the oven at low temperatures (under 100 degrees C) for a few hours. For a salad, you’d probably like to have them crunchier than for bread or cake.

When you soak kidney-shaped beans, add some baking soda to the water. Use a large bowl and make sure you cover well with water since the beans can expand a bit while soaking. There is no need to dehydrate the legumes; they are ready to cook as usual straight after soaking.

Are Activated Nuts and Seeds better for you?

Activated nuts are not only great because they don’t contain enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid. They’re also great because they do contain more readily available nutrients. The process of activating causes the levels of proteins and essential vitamins to rise above those of un-activated nuts. They’re easier to digest, and because they’ve started to sprout, they’re alive again and full of nutrients!

The problem with nuts and phytic acid

When nuts are soaked, it causes their in-built germination or sprouting processes to kick into action. Germination is the natural sprouting of a nut or seed when the conditions are perfect, usually after lying dormant for a length of time. For seed or a nut in the ground, when the levels of light, oxygen, nutrients, and temperature are right, this is great. From tiny acorns, mighty oaks grow, as the ancient saying goes.

But if in its natural growing environment, the nut or seed gets soaked with rainwater, triggering germination when the conditions aren’t right, then it’s not beneficial for the little nut or seed to begin sprouting. So nuts have a clever natural defence system to prevent premature germination and sprouting. This system involves natural chemicals, including enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid, but both are toxic to us in high doses.

Enzyme inhibitors in nuts can, however, interfere and inhibit our own digestive enzymes. This can mean that our digestive systems don’t absorb all the wonderful nutrients that nuts have to give us, whilst phytic acid can overwhelm our digestive system and cause us to feel bloated and nauseous. If you’ve ever eaten a large number of nuts at once, you may know what I’m talking about. You know, that definite heaviness in your stomach.

Including nuts and seeds in your diet

A variety of nuts and seeds can be included in a healthy diet. As different types of nuts have slight differences in their vitamin and mineral content, eating various nuts will increase your levels of various nutrients.
Instead of eating a biscuit or piece of cake as a snack, try having a handful of raw or dry-roasted nuts. Combining nuts and seeds with low-energy-dense foods (such as vegetables) is a good way to enhance vegetable-based meals – for example, in Asian-style dishes or added to a salad.

Regular consumption of nuts, seeds, and legumes is recommended for vegetarians, vegans, or people who avoid animal foods. They are a good substitute for meats, fish, and eggs as they contain protein, fat, iron, zinc, and niacin. More than 30 grams of nuts and seeds a day may be needed to ensure adequate protein.
To help boost iron absorption from nuts and seeds, eat them with vitamin C-rich foods and beverages such as tomato, capsicum, orange, and citrus juices.

There is no need to remove the skin of nuts unless you prefer the flavor and texture of peeled nuts. In fact, the skin of nuts is beneficial as it is high in phytochemicals that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Roasting nuts (either dry or in oil) enhances their flavor but has little impact on their fat content. This is because nuts are physically dense and cannot absorb much oil, even if submerged in them. Most nuts only absorb 2 percent of extra fats.

Salted nuts, however, are not recommended as an everyday choice due to the higher sodium content. This is particularly important if you have high blood pressure. Save salted nuts for parties and make raw and unsalted roasted nuts your everyday choice.

Conclusion

Activation is the process by which a seed starts to grow to produce its intended fruit. When you activate your gut, you are helping to create probiotics and fermentation for our bodies to function optimally. There are many ways to do this, including eating fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi, taking a probiotic supplement, or consuming prebiotics such as chicory root extract. We hope these thoughts have been helpful! If there’s anything we’ve missed, please don’t hesitate to ask us below in the comments section!

In Bulgarian: Активиране на семена

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