‘Phytic acid’ or ‘phytates’ may be words you have heard when reading articles about soaking or ‘activating’ nuts. Phytates are anti-nutrients which are found in beans, grains, nuts and seeds. These anti-nutrients have the ability to bind to minerals in the digestive tract, inhibiting their absorption and most commonly affect zinc, iron, copper, magnesium and calcium.
To disarm these anti-nutrients it is recommended to soak these foods overnight in water with a small amount of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. The soaking process activates phytase, which is the enzyme required to neutralize phytic acid. In addition to soaking; fermenting and sprouting is also recommended.
NZ soils are particularly deficient in magnesium, selenium, iodine and zinc, making optimal absorption of these minerals even more important.
This article was written by Kate Morgan – Tutor Naturopathy and Nutrition.