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All nuts are the seeds of plants. It takes a lot of effort for the plants to make their seeds, so the parent plants put protective compounds into the seeds to ensure they do not germinate in the wrong conditions and go to waste.

The protective compounds that concern us are enzyme inhibitors and phytic acids, and they have major impacts on our digestive systems.

The purpose of the enzyme inhibitors is to shut down germination enzymes until the correct environmental conditions are there for the seed to successfully grow. In the same way, they shut down our digestive enzymes,

Phytic acids are a mineral storage mechanism which lock up minerals until the growing seed needs them. In our bodies they do the same thing, so making them unavailable to us no matter how mineral rich our diet is.

Almonds swell as they absorb water

 Soaking the nuts mimics the start of the germination process. The complex protective compounds are broken down into simpler compounds that we can easily digest. This soaking part is the key part of the activation process in terms of nutrition, but how the nuts or seeds are then dried out is also important. Roasting destroys their fats and proteins so temperatures must be kept low.