To Activate or Not – Nuts, Pulses and Seeds?

Raw nuts are a fantastic healthy snack, loaded with protein, healthy fats, fibre and important minerals like zinc, magnesium and calcium. If you have been doing your research into foods appropriate for endometriosis suffers, no doubt you have come across the term ‘activated nuts, seeds and pulses’.


Activated nuts, seeds and pulses have been soaked in salted water for a period of time, which starts off the germination or sprouting process, then dehydrated at a low temperature. Soaking increases the nutrient value of the nuts along with breaking down the problematic compounds that can interfere with the absorption of these valuable nutrients.


Nuts and seeds contain what is called phytic acid, which prevents them from sprouting prematurely and stores lots of important nutrients. According to research when we consume phytic acid it reduces our body’s ability to absorb these nutrients. They also contain enzyme inhibitors that can cause the body to work over time to produce the enzymes necessary for digestion.


Soaking helps to activate food enzymes like phytase which inturn, deactivates anti-nutrients, like phytates held within the nuts, seeds and pulses. Phytates are the salts of phytic acid or inositol hexaphosphate. This is a storage compound which binds minerals: iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium and phosphate and is found in plant seeds. During the soaking process, phytase enzymes, released when soaking in the water, break down phytates; the minerals released are used by the plant for the developing shoot and root. The end result is that your foods offer your body a greater array of absorbable minerals while also increasing overall digestibility.


Like all health trends activating nuts, pulses and seeds has its supporters and detractors. To ensure we provide both schools of thought, here is a link to a fantastic article on why don’t need to worry about activating nuts, pulses and seeds.

Is activating a vital step? Lisa Yates / Medical Observer. Or PDF Is activating a vital step.


For those who decide to activate their nuts… please follow the directions below.


Activating Nuts - A Guide

Nut / SeedSalt Per 1 Cup of NutsSoaking Time
Almonds1 teaspoon12 - 14 Hours
Cashews1 teaspoon3 - 6 Hours
Hazelnuts - skins off1 teaspoon7 - 12 Hours
Macadamias1 teaspoon7 - 12 Hours
Peanuts1 teaspoon7 - 12 Hours
Pecans1/2 teaspoon7 - 12 Hours
Walnuts1/2 teaspoon7 - 12 Hours
Pinenuts1 teaspoon7 - 10 Hours
Pepitas2 teaspoon7 - 10 Hours
Sunfower Seeds2 teaspoon7 - 10 Hours