Phytic acid in nuts

Do nuts have high levels of phytic acid / phytates? Should we care?

Nuts and seeds as a class tend to be high in phytates which reduce your ability to absorb the minerals in the mineral-rich nuts and seeds. The only exception I have seen is chestnuts. 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

For comparison, here is the phytic acid content of a few other foods:

Heinz ketchup 7 mg/100 gram

Chow mein noodles 409 mg/100 gram

Elbow macaroni 260 mg/100 gram

Okra 5 mg/100 gram

Reducing phytic acid in nuts and seeds is tricky. Soaking nuts is recommended by Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions. The problem is that a nut has a small surface area. Soaking a ground food is more effective than soaking a whole nut or kernel. 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.

Read more

Soaking grains @ the Rebuild blog

Soaking beans @ the Rebuild blog

Grains and phytic acid

Oats and phytic acid @ the Rebuild blog

Soy and phytic acid @ the Rebuild blog

More posts like this one:

  1. Grains and phytic acid: Soak, sprout, ferment?
  2. Almonds and phytic acid / phytates
  3. Do marcona almonds have phytic acid?
One Response to Phytic acid in nuts
  1. Deanna
    August 21, 2010 | 9:08 am

    Thanks for the good info. Just had some RBC mineral blood tests and am low/deficient in all of them. I’ve decided to buy a dehydrator in order to reduce the phytic acid in foods. Had already been thinking of it for nuts, but can now see that it would be useful to have one for soaking beans and grains at a specific temperature, too. The Excalibur 9 tray model is tall enough to warm a good sized pot of beans at 140 degrees for as long as you need it to.

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