Getting the Good Stuff: Soaking Nuts and Seeds for Better Nutrition

Nuts and seeds are amazing. They are highly nutritious and recommended as go-to snacks anytime, but especially when you are on a Two Week Detox Program. To receive the full benefits of seeds, nuts, and grains, Dr. Nuzum recommends soaking them for better nutrient uptake.

Raw nuts and seeds are protected by phytic acid, polyphenols (tannins), and other enzyme inhibitors that prevent them from germinating in the wrong conditions. Our digestive systems do not have the enzymes needed to break down phytic acid, so eating them results in inflammation and indigestion. Additionally, the enzyme inhibitors block our intestines from absorbing all of the available nutrition.

By soaking seeds and nuts, we reduce the phytic acid content and make their nutrients more available to the body. Soaking them in warm water neutralizes most of the enzyme inhibitors and increases our availability to absorb the nutrients, especially B-vitamins.

Soaking these nutritional jewels also results in better flavor and even texture. The bitter taste often associated with nuts disappears as tannins are stripped away. Soaking them also leaves most nuts and seeds with a more buttery consistency, making them more suitable for use in smoothies and sauces.

So, Why Soak Nuts and Seeds?

  • Removes or reduces phytic acid
  • Neutralizes enzyme inhibitors
  • Removes or reduces tannins
  • Increases uptake of vitamins, especially B vitamins
  • Promotes production of beneficial enzymes.
  • Eases digestion
  • To make the proteins more readily available for absorption.
  • Prevents mineral deficiencies
  • Neutralizes toxins within the colon and cleanses the colon
  • Prevents disease


The chart below shows soaking times for the most commonly used nuts and seeds. For every two cups of grains or seeds you are soaking, add one tablespoon of salt. Soak them for the recommended amount of time and then rinse the brine off before using them for cooking. If you are not going to use them right away, dehydrate them for later use.


    Nuts Soaking Time
    Almonds 12 hrs
    Chia 2 hrs
    Cashews 2 hrs
    Flaxseed 2 hrs
    Pecans 8 hrs
    Pine nuts 2 hrs
    Pistachios 4 hrs
    Pumpkin 6 hrs
    Sesame 4 hrs
    Sunflower 4 hrs
    Walnut 8 hrs
    Peanuts 8 hrs


    Dehydrating your soaked nuts and seeds is easy. Spread them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place them in the oven at 150 degrees Fahrenheit until they are completely dry. This can sometimes take more than 24 hours, so plan accordingly. A better method is to use a food dehydrator, one that is on a timer or will turn off after all excess moisture is removed from the nuts.

    The act of soaking seeds has been passed down from our ancestors, who used to use warm salt water from the ocean and the warmth of the sun to prepare nuts, seeds, and grains. This is an important nutritional step that has become lost in our culture.

    So, soak those seeds and nuts!