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We have all been taught that we should eat balanced meals with lots of fruits and veggies. This is so that we can get all the essential vitamins and minerals that we need to stay healthy. But did you know that there is a potent substance in your day to day diet that may be undoing all your efforts to consume adequate quantities of both vitamins and minerals? It is called phytic acid…
Phytic acid blocks the absorption of nutrients through your gut, meaning that you are probably somewhat undernourished without knowing it. There is good news though. In this article, I will tell you how this substance impedes nutrition and how you can get rid of the excessive quantities of it in your diet and get your body optimally nourished again.
Phytic acid is a common anti-nutrient found plentifully in the hulls of most grains and seeds. When you eat whole grain and seed products that still contain this naturally occurring anti-nutrient, the vitamins and minerals you ingest are not actually used by your body. This is because the phytic acid binds to the nutrients and makes it impossible for them to pass through the walls of your intestines and into your bloodstream to be used by your body. Thus, most of the would-be nutrition passes through you to be eliminated as waste. That means you could be eating lots of nutritionally dense foods without getting the benefits of any of them.
So how can you remove phytic acid from your grains and seeds before eating them? The answer is soaking. Overnight soaking of grains like corn or rice and seeds like sesame before use will remove a significant amount of the acid they contain. Simply let your grain or seed sit in enough water to cover it for 8-12 hours, pouring off and replacing the acid loaded water once or twice. That’s all there is to it. You can proceed to cook your grain or seed as usual. You will find that your grains have a cleaner fresher taste and, if you are like me, you won’t be able to go back to the dense heavy taste of phytic acid laden foods.
Now that you know what phytic acid is, how it affects your absorption of nutrients, and how to remove it from your food, you can take steps to gradually eliminate it from your diet. Now you can look forward to looking and feeling healthier than ever as the previously unattainable nutrition begins to take effect. Who knows? Maybe phytic acid has long been the barrier between you and robust health.