Should you blanch your almonds?


Almonds are power-packed seeds with a loss of essential minerals, protein, and healthy fats!

20 gm of almonds have nearly 10 gm of fat and 4 gm of protein and carbs, adding up to nearly 125 calories. The fat contained in almond is of the healthy variety – Monounsaturated & Polyunsaturated fat. They are also good sources of fiber, Vit E, Vit B2, Manganese, Magnesium, Copper, Phosphorus, polyphenols, and other anti-oxidants, etc. The omega-3 fatty acids contained in almonds are really helpful in regulating the cholesterol levels and are anti-inflammatory in nature

Almonds also contain something called “Anti-Nutrients” such as phytic acid, tannin, oxalates, etc, especially in the skin – these are substances that inhibit the absorption of other nutrients (minerals such as calcium, zinc, etc). The skin of the almonds also has enzyme inhibitors that prevent the absorption of minerals. Oxalates are particularly harmful as they can form stones in the kidney (Read )

Almonds are hence soaked overnight and also blanched (skin removed) to reduce the level of such anti-nutrients. Soaking also makes them soft and easily chewable which facilitates better absorption of nutrients.

However, there is only limited evidence of such benefits as research shows that soaking almonds overnight reduces such anti-nutrients (phytic acid) only in slight quantities. Besides, phytic acid and tannins even though inhibit the absorption of certain minerals, they are also powerful antioxidants (and hence anti-aging in nature)

There is this general understanding (rather misunderstanding) among many people that – nuts are fattening. Well, no food is especially fattening. It is the total calories that matter; any food (calories) if consumed more than what your body needs (energy spent by the body) then you gain weight

In a nutshell (literally & figuratively) – soaking almonds can definitely increase the ability to chew it and hence better absorption and digestion, apart from reducing anti-nutrient, albeit in minor quantities. However, it is not mandatory to soak them overnight to enjoy the benefits of almonds. However, avoid oil roasted almonds; instead have them raw, dry-roasted or soaked – whatever suits your taste buds

PS: Some people drink the water used for soaking almonds – which does not give any added benefits; they might as well have the almonds raw instead

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