If you are following a more natural whole-food diet, this can lead to us eating a higher load of certain chemicals which can cause gastric, discomfort as well as inhibiting the absorption of important nutrients. They fall into the following:
Phytate is the salt of phytic acid and is a storage form of phosphorus in grains, legumes and nuts/seeds. It reduces the absorption of minerals such as iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium to name a few.
Polyphenols are not denatured by heat. Tannins, an antioxidant polyphenol can inhibit the digestibility of protein, minerals and starch. They bind and disable digestive enzymes in the GI tract. The most notable concern is with the minerals iron, copper, and zinc – not calcium or manganese. Vitamin B1 can also be inactivated.
Oxalic acid is present in various plant foods, depending on the area grown. It decreases calcium absorption. You’ve likely heard that calcium from spinach is poorly absorbed – this is because of the oxalic acids in spinach.
Trypsin inhibitors and Protease Inhibitors are one of the most common types.
Consuming enzyme inhibitors can cause GI distress that allows our bodies to break down the protein, creating a long-term protein deficiency. Raw nuts and soy are known to contain these compounds.
Lectins are found in all plants especially seeds, legumes and grains, in high amounts they can cause harm to the digestive tract lining and interfere with the absorption of other nutrients.
How do we reduce the harmful chemicals and release the nutrients?
It’s simple really, soaking and sprouting foods alters the chemical load by reducing the phytic acid. Phytate binds to the available minerals in our gastrointestinal tract, stopping their absorption and can lead to deficiency. It also releases good minerals, enzymes and vitamins making them bioavailable to us.
How do you soak ?
A general rule is the bigger and denser the food, the longer it will need to soak.
Cover the seeds, nuts grains, beans or legumes with double the amount of water and leave to soak. The longer it needs to be soaked and the more you need to change the water rinsing off the food at the same time. Always discard the soaking water.
After soaking how do we use them?
Once soaked you can use the beans, lentils, nuts or seeds in your kinds of milk, vegetable curries recipes or dehydrate them to make flours or use in recipes like granolas or chocolate. You can also do the next stage which is sprouting.
How do you sprout?
It’s not a complicated thing to do. Sprouting takes this one step further. After soaking drain the water, rinse, refill with fresh water and drain them by positioning the jars on the side at an angle for several hours. This allows the jar to completely drain.
Placing the jars on a sunny windowsill will help with the sprouting process. Several rinsing and re-soaking periods allows for them to eventually germinate and sprout
Once sprouting is completed, seeds can benefit even more by being fermented. Fermentation, Uncovered
Soaked grain recipes
If you’re looking for soaked grain recipes, check out the recipes below:
Overnight Oatmeal is super simple to make and cooks up in about five minutes in the morning.
Savoury chilla is a fantastic, nutrient-dense breakfast for little ones.
Vegetable Upma is another easy morning porridge made with jowar and spices.