Apr 18, 2024, 01:40 PM IST

8 Foods You Should Always Soak Before Eating

Emily Horn

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1. Beans and Legumes  

Soaking beans and legumes like lentils, chickpeas, and black beans can reduce cooking time and remove compounds that cause gas and bloating. It also makes them easier to digest.

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2. Whole Grains 

Grains like rice, barley, and oats can benefit from soaking as it helps reduce phytic acid, which can bind minerals preventing their absorption. Soaking also speeds up cooking time.

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3. Nuts 

Soaking nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews helps to break down enzyme inhibitors, making them easier to digest and allowing better nutrient absorption.

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4. Seeds 

Seeds like flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds can be soaked to reduce anti-nutrients, activate enzymes that make nutrients more available, and improve texture for consumption.

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5. Dried Fruits 

Soaking dried fruits like apricots, prunes, and raisins helps to rehydrate them, making them juicier and easier to digest, while also reducing their concentrated sugars slightly.

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6. Grain Flours 

Soaking flour used in baking can help to deactivate phytic acid, improving mineral availability and making the grains easier to digest.

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7. Corn 

Soaking corn, especially when used in traditional dishes like hominy or masa (for tortillas), not only softens it but also enhances its nutritional value through a process known as nixtamalization.

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8. Quinoa 

Soaking quinoa is particularly important to remove its natural coating called saponin, which can be bitter and can cause irritation in the digestive tract.

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