If you were to ask me ‘are whole grains a healthy part of a diet?’ my answer would not be images (1)so straight forward. You see, although whole grains provide a good source of nutrients, which are beneficial to the body, if they are not prepared properly, they can actually to more harm than good.

Whole grains contain a substance know as phytic acid. This is the storage form of phosphorus in plant tissues. Phosphorus, in this form, is not bioavailible to humans because we lack the enzyme, phytase, which is required to separate phosphorus from the phytate molecule. Due to this, phytic acid binds to minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium, as well as B vitamins. This blocks their absorption and can contribute to a mineral deficiency.

In answer to the question ‘are whole grains a healthy part of the diet?’ is yes. If grains are prepared correctly they can supply nutrients. This preparation involves soaking, souring and sprouting. You may have noticed the emphasis I place on choosing a sourdough bread (a sprouted bread is also a good choice). Sourdough bread has been fermented for long enough that it sours and becomes a lacto-fermented food. Not only does sourdough bread taste better, it’s also a much healthier choice. The phytic acid is removed meaning the nutrients are available to be absorbed by the body.

So, you now know which bread to choose, what about flour? Choosing a sprouted flour is your best choice. A sprouted flour has been made from seeds (wheat, kamut, spelt etc) that have been germinated, or sprouted. Going through this process destroys the phytic acid in the seed which allows it to provide nutrients rather than inhibiting them. You can find sprouted flours in health food stores and online, they really are the best choice for your baked goods.

Grains are getting a bad reputation these days. I believe that ones that have not been prepared correctly should  be avoided however, with proper preparation, grains can be very beneficial. I also recommend that the diet be higher in fat and protein than carbohydrates which are found in grains.

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