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If you eat a lot of rice and beans or other types of cereals and legumes, know that you may also be consuming phytate. Also known as phytic acid, this is a natural antinutrient that is present in several seeds and grains. Despite having a plant origin, phytates hinder the absorption process of nutrients in the body, which means that carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins and minerals present in food are not fully used. Want to better understand what phytate is and how to get rid of it?

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What foods have phytate?

Phytic acid is very present in the Brazilian dietary routine due to the regular consumption of vegetables. The compound appears during the maturation period of the food and becomes part of the diet of those who consume cereals and legumes frequently. Among the most consumed grains are beans, soybeans, peas, lentils and chickpeas. Among cereals, we can list rice, wheat, oats, corn and flaxseed.

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Learn why we should not consume phytic acid in excess

As healthy as it may seem, constant consumption of vegetables can be harmful to health due to the strong presence of phytate. In the digestive tract, this compound is associated with proteins and minerals that impede digestion due to the alteration of the solubility of nutrients. The human organism is not able to absorb insoluble complexes and only discards substances.

Feeding without the necessary care to reduce the amount of phytic acid in food can result in nutritional deficiencies and changes in blood rates. Cases of anemia and bone weakness are consequences of excessive intake of the antinutrient. Metabolism can also be affected, as well as the intestinal flow and the body’s immunodefensive field due to the low concentration of zinc in the blood.

How to get rid of the antinutrient?

There are some specific techniques that are used to decrease the concentration of phytate in foods. See what are the processes to be carried out to get rid of the antinutrient in your meals:

Soak the food

Fortunately, this is a well-known and well-practiced solution: washing. Phytic acid is a soluble compound, so water helps to reduce the concentration of the substance in the food. Just soak the grains and seeds between 6 and 24 hours before they are prepared and consumed. The resting time varies according to the legume or the cereal chosen, but the more time spent immersed in the liquid, the smaller the amount of phytate. In addition, water helps to soften the ingredients, facilitating both their consumption and digestion.

Boil the ingredients

Boiling food and eating it only when cooked well is another way to decrease the intake of the compost. In boiling water, phytate is more easily dissolved. In the digestive tract, nutrients remain soluble and are easily absorbed by the body.

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