Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Phytic Acid Robbing your Minerals?

          Phytic acid is a compound found on all grain, beans (legumes), nuts and seeds.  It's found in the bran, the outer coating of these foods.   Phytic acid binds the minerals that are in the food as you eat and digest.  It pulls minerals out of your system and it goes out with the waste.  This was by design, so that the seeds of plants would not be consumed by "eaters" and would grow into a new plant.  It's a plant defense mechanism.
 Eating all that bran is really not good for your health.  If you are taking extra bran for treatment for constipation, it may work for a while, but it will do some harm in the long run. This I personally know.   (Oh, great, another health reverse!)

     There are some ways of getting around this mineral loss without giving up eating grain, legumes, seeds and nuts. Ways in which our ancestors figured out....1.  get rid of the bran, or as much of it as you can.  2.  Soaking the dry food first, in water, just a few hours will reduce some of the phytic acid.  Soaking longer and allowing the grain or legumes to sprout ( at least 2 days or more) reduces phytic acid even further.  This process is also called fermenting. 
 3.  Soaking the dry food in water with other ACIDS is even more effective.  4.  Fermenting bread dough with a natural yeast. (I'll not address this process here as I have 2 or 3 sourdough blogs all ready).  Final cooking also reduces phytic acid. 

     The picture above has 3 liquids that can be added to the soaking water to quicken the reduction of phytic acid.  Pictured on the left is a jar of "soaking water".  Soaking water starts with just plain water in a soak of some rolled oats (very high in phytic acid) for 8 hrs or more. The oats are drained and that water is reserved and used again with another batch of oats or brown rice (also very high in phytic acid). That soaking water is drained and reserved.  Each time some grain is soaked then drained, the reserved liquid is stored in a jar and used again and again. Over time It sours and builds up an enzyme called phytase which reduces phytic acid. Soaking water is sour, very sour which is good for reducing phytic acid, but may not be to your taste.  So after the grain is drained, you add more clean water and cook and it should taste "normal".   If still too sour, add clean water and a pinch of baking soda.  Soda "sweetens". 

 Amounts of soaking water to plain water is something like  1:3.   If preparing cooked oats for one serving,  I would add to 1/3 cup dry oats, 1/3 cup "soaking" water with 2/3 cups plain water and soak over night.  Drain next morning, add clean water and cook.  Pour reserved liquid back into "soaking water" jar.  Use again. 

     Pictured is also a bottle of Bragg's Apple cider vinegar.  You can also use home-made kombucha.  For a single serving of cooked rolled oats,  add 2 TBS vinegar to 1/3 cup dry rolled oats or steel cut oats, plus 2/3 cup plain water and soak 8 hrs or more.  Drain, reserve liquid, add plain water and cook.  If using vinegar, not as much is needed.  Save the reserved liquid in a jar with other "soaking waters" and used again. 

     The last picture is whey.  The liquid I get from my raw milk kefir when I drain that to make a thick kefir cheese.  Use the whey with soaking grains as you would "soaking water".  Ratio 1:3.  To 1/3 cup dry oats or brn rice, add 1/3 cup whey and 2/3 cup plain water.  Soak over night or longer.  Drain and reserve the liquid to use again.  

   I know this is just more work to go through, but it is worth it if you are truly trying to heal from a serious condition.  It's better than giving up grains all together.  Our ancestors figured these processes out the hard way and over time they benefited from the labor and where possible enjoyed robust health. 

     My husband and I are on an adventure trying to re-mineralize (heal) our teeth.  Both of us were diagnosed a month ago, by our dentist, with a tooth each, that needed to be pulled or treated as root canals. We did not make appointments for the root canals, but decided to try to heal our teeth.  
     Ramiel Nagel's book, "Cure Tooth Decay" came into our possession a few months ago and reading it motivated us to try this.  Reducing phytic acid in grains, legumes, nuts and seeds was pointed out as critical to the success of this protocol.  Stopping all sweets, mostly those with sugar and artificial sugars was also critical and too much fruit and juice. 
       Adding foods high in minerals and protein and adding natural doses of oil-soluble vitamins D and A and omegas through fermented cod liver oil and Factor X Butter oil also critical. 
     So far, it is working.  We have occasional pain, but have some natural ways of reducing that.  Decay in both our teeth seem to be gone, as well as inflammation.  In another few weeks we will go back to our Dentist and get examinations.  If this works, I will dedicate a separate blog to this. 

     My interest  and experimentation with Pulses, as a primary food source, made reducing phytic acid very critical.  The experimenting continues.     

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