11 Dietary “Wise Traditions” Principle #8
Tuesday, July 25, 2023 11:06 AM
PREPARE SEEDS, GRAINS AND NUTS PROPERLY TO MINIMIZE ANTI-NUTRIENTS AND ENHANCE DIGESTIBILTY.
Proper preparation by sour fermentation processes removes or neutralizes many irritants and anti-nutrients:
• Enzyme Inhibitors make digestion difficult and can lead to stress on the pancreas. Proper preparation gets rid of enzyme inhibitors.
• Phytic Acid binds minerals and carries them out of the body. Consuming a diet high in phytic acid can lead to mineral deficiencies, even when the grains and legumes are rich in minerals. Proper preparation neutralizes phytic acid in most grains and legumes. The exception is soy, which is very high in phytic acid that is not neutralized by normal fermentation or soaking-and-cooking techniques, only by a very long fermentation of at least six months.
• Tannins and Lectins are irritating compounds that make digestion difficult. Proper preparation gets rid of tannins and lectins.
• Complex Starches and Sugars are hard for humans to digest. Proper preparation helps break them down.
• Gluten is hard to digest and even toxic for some people. Genuine sourdough fermentation breaks down gluten so that it doesn’t cause digestive problems.
• Cellulose is impossible for humans to digest and needs to be broken down with proper preparation before consumption
Animals that live on grains, seeds and grasses have complex digestive tracts with two to four stomachs where these foods, with all their anti-nutrients, are neutralized by fermentation. But humans have only one simple stomach, designed to digest meat, not grains. All traditional societies instinctively understood that grains, legumes, nuts and other seeds required “pre-digestion” by soaking, fermenting or sour leavening before consumption.
Many of the sour grain preparations consumed in traditional cultures are an acquired taste for Westerners, but there are several ways of consuming properly prepared whole grains that are acceptable to our tastes—even to children.
Oatmeal soaked overnight in slightly acidulated warm water and then cooked, served with butter or cream and maple syrup, is delicious.
Once you taste real sourdough bread, all other bread will seem insipid in comparison. SEE NEXT POST For a NATURAL YEAST BREAD Recipe.
Brown rice can be soaked several hours before cooking.
Nuts are high in enzyme inhibitors that can be neutralized by soaking in salt water.
If consumed only occasionally in the context of a nutrient-dense diet, white rice and bread made from white flour (preferably sourdough), are easier to digest and actually better choices than rough whole grains that irritate the digestive tract.
What about soy? Soy is a legume and like all legumes, contains many toxins. The problem with soy is that the normal technique for preparing legumes—soaking, rinsing and then cooking—is not sufficient to neutralize these toxins. Only a long traditional fermentation gets rid of the phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors, oxalic acid, lectins, and other anti-nutrients in soy. In Asia, long fermentation techniques are used to make traditional foods like miso, natto and soy sauce. These foods are fine if eaten sparingly, but not in large amounts. Soy is also very high in plant types of estrogens, and these are not neutralized by fermentation. And foods containing industrially processed soy protein, soy protein isolate, and soy protein concentrate contain both natural toxins and those created during processing. It’s best to avoid all soy products except small amounts of naturally produced natto, miso and soy sauce.