I’ve been making a concerted effort lately to eat more Omega-3s. Which isn’t that hard really because I really love fat. Delicious, delicious fat…mmmmm….
Omega-3s are great for brain function, eye and heart health, and a whole raft of other stuff, including anxiety – which is something I am now on top of in my life, but only because I am constantly managing it. And one thing I’ve learnt is that anxiety begins in the gut.
So I’ve been stocking up on salmon, leafy greens and walnuts.
I love walnuts, especially when they’re surrounded by a triple choc fudge brownie. But I figure the bad probably slightly outweighs the good there, so I’ve been eating them by the handful instead.
The only problem is that when I do eat raw walnuts, I notice my belly getting quite uncomfortable, and then things can get kind of ugly if I’m in mixed company.
Why do nuts make you fart?
I did some research, and found that nuts contain compounds, such as phytates and tannins that can impair digestion. Phytates and tannins both work by binding up minerals so they can’t ignite the enzymatic reactions that tell a nut to sprout until it’s in the right environment to grow.
So basically, nuts are designed to be eaten and then travel unscathed (if somewhat chewed) through animals’ digestive systems, so they can be pooped out again and germinate into a new tree.
Genius bit of evolution there.
But for us? Not so fun.
The good news is that there is something you can do to ensure nuts go much easier on your digestive system. The bad news is that Pete Evans was right about something (UGH).
You need to soak, sprout or ferment your nuts to break down the compounds so you can digest them without playing musical bums.
The easiest way for me has been to activate my nuts, which means I soak them overnight and then put them in a single layer into the oven on a low temperature to dry them out. Traditionally, this was done in the sun, so you’re trying to replicate that kind of warmth, without actually cooking them.
When you soak the nuts, you’re tricking them into thinking it’s time to germinate (outwitting a nut – I feel so clever!) and they begin to break down the phytates and tannins so they can sprout a new tree. But before they become a tree, you’re going to munch down on those bad boys. Game, set and match, stupid nuts!
For a great guide on how to activate various types of nuts, check this guide from the Merrymaker Sisters.
So now I’m happily back on my anti-crazy-person diet, and I’m activating my nuts like a giant wanker. But I’m much more comfortable, my pants fit better, and my family is quietly grateful. #winwin
Do you avoid nuts for windy reasons? Would you activate your nuts?