The Western diet is heavy on highly processed grains, seeds, legumes and nuts that are not stoneground, soaked nor fermented, along with lots of coffee and chocolate. This makes a diet rich in phytic acid without the natural phytase enzyme to break it down.
When you soak, ferment, sprout and stoneground these foods, you naturally increase the amount of phytase which will reduce the phytic acid and thus allow your body to absorb and retain those wonderful minerals.
Yes… there is a REAL difference between eating a loaf of brown bread to a loaf of stoneground, sourdough bread!!! No wonder so many people have gluten intolerances these days…
How can we do this?
- Get some Vitamin D from the sun when you can, as much as possible in winter, and sensibly in summer such as the early or late part of the day. Fair skin needs less, dark skin requires more sun. Vitamin D is vital for tooth and bone health.
- Limit consumption of sweets, grains, beans, nuts and seeds (beans – yes this includes coffee & cocoa beans!), now I understand why despite the many antioxidants chocolate and coffee have, they really are only good for you in moderation, along with grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
- Sprouting, soaking for 24 hours, fermenting (e.g. sourdough) reduces the phytic acid content
- Enjoy stoneground, sourdough breads, essene bread, fermented pancakes and bakery goods etc. The book Nourishing Traditions is a great read and has a lot more advice about this. Fermented porridge … yes! Sticks to the ribs!
- Limit starchy vegetables (e.g. potatoes). Incorporate mineral-rich veggies (organic), eggs, bone broths and meats.
- Healthy fats like coconut oil & grass-fed, cultured butter have the green thumbs up
High Phytic Acid Foods. These have lots of phytates: whole grains, brown rice, brown bread, soy, pinto, kidney & navy beans, cooked potatoes, almonds, brazil nuts, peanuts, corn, rice bran, sesame seeds, walnuts, wheat bran, wheat germ. Chocolate is high in phytic acid! Coffee also contains this.
Low Phytic Acid Foods. Sprout, soak & ferment and consume Vitamin C with them. Use good quality vinegar in salad dressings and cooking. Eat lots of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Is Phytic Acid really that bad for you? When you eat a food containing phytate with phytase (the enzyme that breaks down the phytate) there is no problem. The real issue is that modern diets and processing of food contains extremely high levels of phytic acid minus the phytase enzyme.
I hope I have inspired you to try stoneground, sourdough bread and experiment with some of these other delicious foods. To feel well satiated after eating and to really enjoy your food is a truly wonderful feeling. I’m making fermented rye pancakes from this recipe tomorrow… can’t wait!
xx Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, @Ivanhoe