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Sprouted Nuts: Nutrition, Benefits, and How to Do It – Healthline

Posted: March 11, 2021 at 6:48 am

Sprouted nuts are raw nuts that have been soaked in water to germinate, or begin to sprout.

Because sprouted grains are popular, you may be wondering whether sprouted nuts are also good for your health.

This article reviews the benefits of eating sprouted nuts and how to incorporate them into your diet.

Sprouted nuts are raw nuts that have been soaked in water until they begin to germinate, which is the first stage of plant growth.

Most sprouted nuts have gone through only the first stage of the sprouting process, soaking in water for 312 hours.

Sprouting requires a moist and humid environment, which makes the nuts susceptible to bacterial growth. Furthermore, sprouted nuts are not roasted, which puts them at an even higher risk of bacterial contamination.

Nuts with outer shells or hulls that have to be removed before eating, such as walnuts and pecans, cant be fully sprouted. This means they wont develop the little tail indicating new plant life that other nuts will develop during sprouting.

Commercially sprouted nuts are prepared in a sterile environment and are generally dried or dehydrated before being packaged and sold to prevent mold and foodborne illness risk (1, 2, 3).

Because its hard to create a sterile environment at home, its generally not recommended to sprout nuts yourself at home.

Most commercial nuts eaten worldwide are not sprouted, especially those that are most accessible to consumers. Instead, commercial nuts are often roasted, flavored, or seasoned, and they may or may not be sold with their shells intact.

Many commercial nuts have also been irradiated, which means they have been heat-treated to kill any bacteria that could pose a potential risk to consumers.

Sprouted nuts are untreated raw nuts that have been soaked overnight, if not fully sprouted. Most commercial nuts you eat are not sprouted and have likely been roasted or seasoned in some way.

Research indicates that sprouting certain grains and legumes can boost their antioxidants, amino acids, and B vitamins.

Its also been shown to reduce antinutrients like phytic acid, which can inhibit the absorption of other important vitamins and minerals (4, 5, 6, 7).

While some sources claim that soaking and sprouting nuts also increases their nutrient content and reduces phytates, theres no available scientific evidence to support nutritional improvements after sprouting nuts.

A 28-gram (1/4-cup) serving of sprouted walnuts has the following nutritional profile (8):

One study compared the mineral and phytate concentrations of whole and chopped almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, and walnuts. The nuts were divided into 4 groups: raw, soaked in a salt solution for 4 or 12 hours, or soaked in water for 12 hours (9).

The results showed that soaking the nuts actually reduced overall mineral content and did not significantly change their phytate concentration.

Furthermore, available nutrition information on raw versus sprouted walnuts shows no significant difference in overall nutrient composition (10, 11).

Research on grains and legumes indicates that sprouting improves nutritional quality. However, research on sprouted versus raw nuts shows no significant difference in nutrient or phytate content.

A variety of sprouted nuts can be found online or at specialty grocery or health food stores. If the store sells sprouted legumes or grains, you may be more likely to find sprouted nuts there too.

Sprouted nuts are generally sold in a bag or plastic container, similarly to other nuts. They will be labeled sprouted or might say theyre activated, which means they have undergone the initial process of sprouting.

Some of the most popular types of sprouted nuts are:

Keep in mind that sprouted walnuts, pecans, and other nuts with outer shells will have gone through only the soaking step of the sprouting process and cant technically be fully sprouted.

Sprouted nuts can be found online or at some grocery or health food stores. Theyre generally sold in a bag or plastic container and labeled as sprouted or activated.

Sprouted nuts have a shorter shelf life than raw nuts, and homemade varieties should be eaten within a few days.

They come with a higher risk of bacterial growth than regular nuts because theyre not roasted after sprouting (1, 2, 3).

Most sources claim that store-bought sprouted nuts will last 23 months in your pantry or can be kept in your fridge or freezer to extend shelf life. Its always best to review the product packaging for storage recommendations and expiration dates.

Nuts with higher oil content, such as almonds and walnuts, should be stored in cooler places to prevent them from going rancid.

You can eat sprouted nuts on their own; add them to smoothies; use them to make granola bars, plant milk, or nut butter; dehydrate them to make trail mix; or grind them into a sprouted nut flour or meal for recipes.

Most of the nuts you find in their raw or roasted form can also be sprouted or at least can go through the soaking step of sprouting. You may be able to find these nuts online or in certain stores.

Instead of buying sprouted nuts from the store or online, you can make them.

Keep in mind that raw sprouts have been associated with foodborne illness risk. To minimize that risk, you need to ensure that you sprout nuts using a sterile process and environment (1).

Additionally, its important to find nuts labeled raw that have not been treated to remove bacteria, toxins, or mold. If they have been treated, theyre unlikely to sprout.

Common methods of treating nuts include roasting, blanching, treatment with methyl bromide, pasteurization, and irradiation (12).

Preparing sprouted nuts at home requires a soaking step and a sprouting step. Keep in mind that most nuts cant be fully sprouted and will stop after the soaking step.

However, you can make fully sprouted almonds at home using the following steps:

That said, if you cant create a sterile working environment at home, its best not to make sprouted nuts yourself due to the risk of foodborne illness.

You can make fully sprouted almonds at home if you create a sterile environment, but most nuts will not fully sprout and therefore will be only soaked.

Sprouted nuts are raw nuts that have been soaked and allowed to germinate. However, most sprouted nuts sold in stores have undergone only the soaking phase, as they cant be fully sprouted.

While the nutrient content of certain grains and legumes may be improved by sprouting, theres no evidence that sprouting nuts significantly changes their nutritional composition.

You can find certain types of sprouted nuts online or in stores or make them at home. You can eat them as they are, add them to smoothies, or dehydrate and grind them into flour.

See the rest here:
Sprouted Nuts: Nutrition, Benefits, and How to Do It - Healthline

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