Updated May 19th, 2024 at 08:49 IST

This Is Why You Should Always Soak Rice And Pulses In Water Before Cooking

Soaking rice and pulses in water is a simple practice with profound benefits.

Benefits of soaking rice and pulses | Image:Unsplash

Soaking rice and pulses before cooking is a traditional practice with numerous health benefits. This simple but super effective technique can enhance the nutritional value of these staple foods, improve their digestibility, and reduce cooking time. Here are the key benefits of soaking rice and pulses in water.

Improved digestibility

Soaking rice and pulses aids in breaking down complex starches and proteins, making them easier to digest. This process helps to reduce the strain on the digestive system and can minimize issues such as bloating and gas. Soaking also helps to activate enzymes that break down anti-nutrients, compounds that can interfere with nutrient absorption.

Soaking improves digestibility | Image: Unsplash

Reduction of anti-nutrients

Rice and pulses contain anti-nutrients like phytic acid and lectins, which can bind to essential minerals such as iron, calcium, and zinc, inhibiting their absorption in the body. Soaking reduces the levels of these anti-nutrients, thereby enhancing the bioavailability of important minerals. This is particularly beneficial for individuals who rely on these foods as primary sources of nutrition.

Enhanced nutrient absorption

By reducing anti-nutrients, soaking improves the body's ability to absorb essential vitamins and minerals from rice and pulses. This can lead to better overall nutrition and support various bodily functions, including bone health, immune function, and energy production. For instance, soaking lentils and beans can increase the availability of B-vitamins and folate, crucial for energy metabolism and overall health.

Decreased cooking time

Soaking rice and pulses significantly reduces their cooking time. This is because the soaking process hydrates the grains and legumes, softening them and allowing them to cook more quickly. Reduced cooking time not only saves energy but also helps preserve heat-sensitive nutrients that might otherwise be lost during prolonged cooking.

Soaking decreases cooking time | Image: Unsplash

Improved texture

Soaking can enhance the texture of rice and pulses. For example, soaked rice tends to be fluffier and less sticky, while soaked pulses cook more evenly and develop a better taste. This can make meals more enjoyable and improve the experience.

Reduced gas production

Pulses, such as beans and lentils, contain oligosaccharides, which can cause gas and bloating. Soaking these pulses helps to leach out these compounds, making them more gut-friendly. This is particularly important for individuals with sensitive digestive systems or those who are not accustomed to consuming high-fiber diets.


Published May 19th, 2024 at 08:43 IST