How to Prepare Grains for Extra Nutrition 


The nutrients in food such as the vitamins and minerals are the building blocks for your body; they literally keep you alive. Without the right amount of nutrients your body simply cannot function as it should; causing poor health and illness.

The way food is prepared can affect the availability of the nutrients in food.

In New Zealand the way most grains are eaten can cause depletion of magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc and B vitamins. Wheat, barley, oats, quinoa, rye, spelt, amaranth, rice, millet, and buckwheat are all grains. The foods most likely to contain grains are bread, pastry, pasta, biscuits, cakes, and muffins. For hundreds or thousands of years people throughout the world would soak the grains as part of the preparation. The grains were soaked at least overnight, but often longer as part of a natural fermentation process.

We now know that substances called phytates or phytic acid present in grains are broken down by soaking in water at least for 12 hours. If the grains are not soaked for this minimum period of time the phytates will deplete the body of magnesium, iron, calcium, and zinc. In addition the phytates affect the B vitamins so these too become depleted. All these nutrients are essential for health. Low levels of these nutrients are involved in numerous health problems. Soaking gets rid of a large part of the phytates, cooking gets rid of a smaller amount. So ideally do both, although soaking is by far the most important.

Soaking also helps general digestion, soak all grains over night with water then throw out that water. You can then add more water for cooking the grains. Contact the Naturopaths at Bay Naturopath for personal help with your health problems using diet, herbal medicine and lifestyle changes.



Original Article October 2012

Copyright Jaine Kirtley