Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Why whole grains may not be good for you after all

The problem with Grains Image result for grain picture

For many years I have believed that whole grains were part of a healthy diet and have swapped my processed cereal breakfast for an oat-based one I made myself with nuts and seeds that I added.. however I note my teeth are not in great health (and where the teeth are going the bones soon follow). I have had to have a root canal filling and the enamel is chipping. Recently I read an article that explained the problem.
Certain whole grains (especially oatmeal) contain a molecule called phytate that inhibits mineral uptake - it binds Phosphorous in a form that we then cannot use, Calcium which we need for healthy bones is then leached from the body and we get bone loss - unless we have enough Vitamin D and other fat -soluble vitamins.
High-phytate diets result in other mineral deficiencies too; Zinc, Magnesium and Iron are all inhibited. This would explain why my iron levels are low even though I eat a wholefoods diet.


So what can we do? Well firstly we need to soak or sprout the grains first and if you are not prepared to do this then you need to swap a grain-based breakfast to one based on animal fats like egg and butter - it is interesting that absorbable calcium from bone broths and raw dairy products, and vitamin D from certain animal fats, can reduce the adverse effects of phytic acid. Get yourself a slow cooker to make your meals with meat on the bone..
Add Vitamin C to your diet to help iron absorption. Research shows that adding ascorbic acid significantly counteracted the effect s of phytic acid in wheat. Green leafy vegetable are best but of course if your gut is compromised you may have difficulty absorbing them. Once cooked they tend to lose most of their vitamin and mineral content so the best thing to do is to juice raw greens.. Adding Vitamin A and beta -carotene from coloured veg is also good - so add beets and/or carrots to your juice/blend..

Why now?

Why are we only now having this problem? Well it seems that humans do not produce enough phytase to safely consume large quantities of high-phytate foods on a regular basis because our gut flora are compromised (due to toxicity, spraying of foods, poor diets etc). We need them to produce the enzyme that digests phytates; phytase which makes the phosphorus available and reduces the mineral depleting qualities of the molecule.. One species of good bacteria in particular seems to help more than others; probiotic lactobacilli and other species of the endogenous digestive microflora can produce phytase. Thus, humans who have good intestinal flora will have an easier time with foods containing phytic acid. Increased production of phytase by the gut microflora explains why some volunteers can adjust to a high-phytate diet. Sprouting activates phytase, thus reducing phytic acid.
We need to sprout and soak our grains and eat more animal fats! Almost opposite to the advice we have been given for years. So eat your butter and yoghurt (which is semi-fermented making the milk less allergy inducing). If you eat meat, cook it slowly it on the bone and not frying in polyunsaturated oils - (vegetable oils). Use coconut oil, or olive oil. And, juice all you can.

For more information see http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/living-with-phytic-acid/

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