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Anti-nutrients in Common Foods

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Jonathon Miller

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Many of the food items most commonly eaten contain compounds that cause trouble. These anti-nutrients may impair digestion, interfere with metabolism or foster inflammation.

Anti-nutrients include acids, enzyme inhibitors and proteins that are not easily digested. They can generate digestive distress, weight problems and inflammation, among other ailments.

Phytic acid is present in grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. It reduces digestive enzyme effectiveness and lessens absorption of key minerals, including iron, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and copper. Tannins and oxalates are other acid derived nutrient blockers in common foods.

Gluten is a protein in wheat, rye and barley that is very difficult to digest. It also inhibits enzymes and causes many problems in the digestive tract, including leaky gut. Allergies, headaches, joint pain and mental cloudiness are common reactions to gluten. Breads, pasta, pastries and such are best avoided.

Lectins are generally sticky proteins in grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and nightshades, as well as in meats, eggs and dairy products from grain-fed animals. Lectins do not digest well, and create a lot of gas and indigestion.

Consider a diet of mostly vegetables and fruits, with minimal nightshades. If you soak beans, nuts, seeds and grains before consumption, sprouting or fermenting whenever possible, most of the problems of anti-nutrients can be avoided. Take advantage of the benefits of enzymes and probiotics for better digestion and metabolism. As well as mineral supplementation for better health.

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