Soaking Grains – Best Choice for Nutrition
I just got done talking to a couple who tried the Paleo diet. For one of them it worked great and he felt fabulous (what we normally hear from Paleo converts). For the other she had no energy, felt very sick, and suffered from severe headaches. I mention this because not everyone can eat grains, or very much of them. While others have no difficulty with grains. Certainly many cultures have been eating grains for thousands of years.
So, what’s a person to do?
Soaking Grains – Good For Everyone
Some people need to avoid grains all together. Others recognize digestive distress after eating grains. And others, no issues at all. No matter what type of person you are though you can help your system by partially breaking down the grain by soaking the grains. In the process, the nutrients become even more bio-available. The body doesn’t need to use as many vitamins and minerals to break down the soaking grains so you will keep more nutrients as well.
Soaking Grains – It’s Traditional
The information to switch to whole grains from refined flours and polished rice is well meaning but negates that our ancestors ate those whole grains not in the way they are presented to us today. Virtually all pre-industrialized people soaked or fermented their grains before using them. In fact, the original instructions on Quaker Oatmeal boxes included soaking grains overnight.
Soaking Grains – The Reason
Soaking grains is important. All grains (nuts and seeds too) contain phytic acid (an organic acid in which phosphorus is bound) in the outer layer or bran. Phytic acid is a protection for the grain. Unfortunately for us untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block the absorption of these very important nutrients. Sometimes taking these important nutrients out of our system as part of waste products as well.
Soaking grains allows enzymes, lactobacilli, and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize phytic acid. As little as seven hours soaking in warm acidulated water will neutralize a large portion of phytic acid. Soaking grains also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors and encourages the production of numerous beneficial enzymes. The action of these enzymes also increases the amounts of many vitamins, especially B vitamins. This all equals better absorption and digestive.
Soaking Grains vs. Removing Grains
Since traditional societies used soaking grains as a way to remove the phytic acid and allow less digestive distress, I recommend people try this easy technique before deciding to forgo grains totally. Many people find that they have much better tolerance to the food when soaking grains.
Soaking Grains – The Easiest Meal Ever
When I first bring up soaking grains to people they react with frustration that I’m asking them to do yet another step. But soaking grains makes truly “instant breakfast”!
Soak the grains before you go to bed. When you wake in the morning cook them up – real oatmeal takes 1-2 minutes. Check it out / a quick, easy breakfast that is now, even more nutritious, just by soaking grains. You may even find that you’ll eat less because your body is so happy receiving a full array of nutrients that it doesn’t need as much soaking grains to get the same benefit.
Soaking Grains Directions:
No need to purchase special soaking grains – use any regular whole grain. Mix one cup grain with two cups warm filtered water plus 2 tablespoons whey, live yogurt, kefir or buttermilk. For those with milk allergies or intolerances, lemon juice or vinegar may be substituted.
Cover and leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours and as long as 24 hours.
Bring soaking grains to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer (usually about 2 minutes but to desired texture).
Remove from heat.