Are you getting the most out of your superfoods and herbs?
Certain fresh-harvested ingredients require very little in the way of pre-preparation before we consume them. Fresh blueberries, lettuce, raw honey, avocado, to name but a few, are all unmistakably “good to go”, just as nature serves them.
However many other food varieties, including herbs and superfoods in dried form as they are sold in the shops like our SamaraNatura.ch, are best, when rehydrated with water or other liquids. Soaking Baobab, Chia seeds, Cacao, Goji berries, Carob and Maca (and many other superfoods and raw foods) in water for a few hours, preferably warm, is a near universal way of improving the nutrient availability of all of your favourite wholesome superfoods.* In my experience, the easiest is to let them soak overnight.
Sufficient soaking achieves numerous effects:
1) It softens plant fibres making the nutrients more accessible.
2) It hydrates the food matrix, thereby extracting properties of water to draw up nutrients.
3) It can pre-digest a limited proportion of carbohydrates and proteins, and to that extent, make them more soluble within our body.
This means that when soaked, the body can get full benefit by digesting quickly and effectively, thus utilizing all of the nutritional value immediately.
In ancient cultures, this practise of soaking either in water or alcohol has been the norm for millennia. Think of teas for example – you don’t throw you green tea leaves in a smoothie; to release their wonderful beneficial tonic properties you will need hot water. The same goes for so many other plants we consume on a regular basis.
So for example, if you are used to drinking an Açaí smoothie for breakfast, then why not soak the Açaí powder in liquid the previous the day? Or, if you are a Goji berry lover, think of soaking them prior to using them in your recipes. It does not require any extra time - well, ok, a few seconds J - and the potential benefits are well worth it.
And if you add an oil rich food to the mixture (e.g. coconut oil, hemp oil, black cumin oil, rape seed oil, avocado, nuts and seeds or nut butters), this will enable a greater absorption of the fat soluble vitamins and other phytonutrients stored within the superfoods.
Whether you are improving your health and wellness or aiming to boost your athletic performance, everyone will benefit from soaking their superfoods. That alone will increase the nutritional value of the powders and dried fruits and the capacity for you to absorb them more efficiently. It does not have to be done all the time, but when you can, do it. Your body will benefit.
*This soaking happens not for the same reason as soaking nuts, where the soaking water is discarded. More on this topic on a later article.