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The activation of the seeds is always advisable, prior to any form of consumption.
Why Activate Seeds?
• To activate enzymatic processes.
• To neutralize enzyme inhibitors.
• To promote the absorption of its proteins.
• To eliminate natural toxins (phytic acid and tannins).
• To increase the amounts of vitamins (especially those of group B).
• To make them more digestible by converting a large part of the starch into absorbable glucose.
Activating the seeds or nuts refers to a very simple process:
Let them soak in water for a few hours.
It is called activation, because when carrying out this process, certain enzyme inhibitors present in the seeds or nuts are deactivated, which have wisely been created by nature so that they only germinate in contact with the appropriate conditions of water and light. When all the conditions are present, the nutrients are activated that will allow the seeds and nuts to grow new plants or trees.
Phytic Acid and Enzyme Inhibitors
Each individual seed contains all the nutrients and enzymes necessary to produce a living plant, but remains dormant until the conditions for germination are right. What prevents plant seeds from germinating is something called Phytic Acid, a compound that inhibits phytase, an enzyme involved in the germination process. Phytic acid not only prevents the seeds from germinating, it also helps protect them from predators. Its enzyme inhibitors block the activity of digestive enzymes, so that the seeds remain intact as they pass through the digestive systems of the animals that eat them.
Phytic acid is considered an anti-nutrient because it binds to minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, copper, and iron in the intestines, blocking their absorption and release from the body. Ruminants (cows, bison, sheep, deer, etc.) are the only animals that have phytase, which allows them to digest the phytic acid found in the grasses of the cereals they consume.
In humans, consumption of phytic acid can lead to digestive problems, inflammation, gas, mineral deficiencies, and a host of associated diseases. Research has linked phytic acid consumption to anemia, bone loss, tooth decay, depression, impaired immunity, and inflammation.
As for the activation time, in general it is spoken of 12 hours, although there are exceptions, as can be seen in the image. There, the activation time necessary to consume them directly (eat them or liquefy them) and the activation time necessary as a soak to continue with germination are indicated there.
How can we safely consume foods that contain Phytic Acid?
It is quite simple: it consists of "awakening" the seeds. It is a very common procedure in horticulture, in order to accelerate the development of the sowing, and it only requires several hours of soaking in water.
During this period, the seed absorbs water and starts various processes (enzymatic cascades): they inactivate antinutrients (such as phytic acid), predigest nutrients (splittings) and increase their nutritional content (vitamin and enzymatic synthesis).
In addition, this will eliminate any traces of fungi and mycotoxins that have withstood the previous washing. And, by soaking seeds, grains and cereals, it also increases the level of nutrients that these foods have up to 20 times more. In short, letting a food soak will allow us to obtain a greater amount of nutrients.
It is important to know that this process will only work if it is done on raw seeds or fruits. Nuts and seeds contain many nutrients, but if they have been heated to high temperatures, the fats will start to go rancid and many nutrients will surely have been destroyed.
How to Activate Seeds
The activation procedure consists of introducing the rinsed seeds into a container, completing the content with water.
At the end of the process (8-12 hours) remove the soaking water (excellent for watering plants) and rinse the seeds with clean water.
It is advisable to exempt flax and chia for direct consumption from this previous process, in order to avoid the loss of their healthy mucilage. Actually the best balance would be to grind the seeds, soak them for a few hours and then consume these seeds (ground and activated), without discarding the liquid used.
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