Sarah Britton is a Toronto-born, Copenhagen-based holistic nutritionist. Her blog, My New Roots, has earned her the title of Quinoa Queen, but as we learned when talking to her for our new year’s health series, Britton’s knowledge goes way beyond ancient grains. And no, we’re not going to talk about kale, either.
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Pop quiz: Why don’t the sunflower seeds in your cupboard get moldy or turn into plants?
Answer: Mother nature is all over it. Nuts and seeds come equipped with an enzyme that inhibits their growth until they get sunlight, water, and soil.
While this is good for the cleanliness of our pantries, it’s not for our bodies. “When we eat raw nuts, we also eat the enzyme inhibitors that prevent the seed from sprouting,” says nutritionist Sarah Britton. Unfortunately for us, those inhibitors operate just as well inside our digestive tracts, blocking the absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Well guess what, Mother Nature! Britton says that “simply by soaking nuts in a little water, the nuts release these harmful enzymes, and at the same time, their nutritional value skyrockets.” Soak a handful of almonds, for example, in filtered water overnight and bingo: three times the nutrients. Take that!
Oh wait: Mother Nature made water, too…