Do almonds have high levels of phytic acid or phytates? Should we care?
Nuts and seeds as a class tend to be high in phytic acid, a substance that reduces your ability to absorb the minerals in the mineral-rich nuts and seeds. Almonds are no exception. From a 1987 review article by Harland and Oberleas, I list the phytic acid content of almonds and an assortment of other nuts and seeds below.
Almonds 1,280 mg/100 gram
Cashews 1,866 mg/100 gram
Chestnuts 47 mg/100 gram
Hazelnuts 1,620 mg/100 gram
Peanuts, toasted 933 mg/100 gram
Jif peanut butter 1,252 mg/100 gram
Black walnuts 1,977 mg/100 gram
English walnuts 760 mg/100 gram
Reducing phytic acid in nuts and seeds is tricky. Soaking is recommended by such writers as Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions. The problem is that a nut like an almond has a small surface area. It would be better to grind the nut at least slightly before soaking it. I realize that you then have nuts pieces which are not always near as interesting as the whole nut. Nonetheless, this is a morsel of advice I offer in the Phytic Acid White Paper which you can purchase here.
Soaking grains at the Rebuild website, with food science visualizations
Soaking beans at the Rebuild website, also with food science visualizations
Phytic acid in oats at the Rebuild website
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