Updated: Dec 16, 2019
Why Soak Grains?
Soaking grains (and nuts, seeds, and legumes) before cooking helps to neutralize phytic acid, an anti-nutrient, present in them. Phytic acid blocks the absorption of critical vitamins and minerals (phosphorus, calcium, iron, zinc) from being assimilated into the body. Phytic acid also inhibits enzymes from assisting our digestion. Breakfast cereals and other packaged foods have had all of the vitamins and enzymes stripped away, leaving the phytic acid to do damage to your gut.
Phytic acid = Locks Up Vital Vitamins, Enzymes & Minerals
Grains to soak:
All gluten-free flours
Polenta & cornmeal need a different process (soaking in dolomite powder + water)
Other foods that need soaking:
How Soaking Works
When you soak grains in warm water with fresh whey from yogurt (or lemon juice), it activates the phytase enzyme that unlocks the minerals and vitamins. Also, it unlocks more B Vitamins and helps digestion. Nuts have the highest amount of phytic acid of any food (other than cocoa), so it is especially important to soak nuts before eating them.
Grains, beans, seeds and nuts are all a seed of a plant, and that plant wants to ensure that it’s “baby” will germinate in optimal conditions for producing another plant and more babies. So the seeds are designed to wait for moisture, warmth, and rain (which has a small amount of acid in it, just like our lemon juice or yogurt). Therefore, all of the nutrients that we can be absorbing from the life-giving seeds of a plant are being blocked unless we prepare them properly.
Store-bought packaged granola, granola bars, quick oats, cookies, store-bought breat, breakfast cereals, and other packaged grain foods will have high amounts of phytic acid in them and should be avoided altogether. Try making sourdough bread at home, it is very healthful.
Side Note: Vitamin D and Calcium in fermented dairy products (kefir, yogurt, cultured butter, buttermilk, cream cheese) will help counteract the phytic acid present in bread products if you eat them together.
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