What? How? Where?
What are antinutrients?
Antinutrients are commonly found in different foods like legumes, nuts, grains, beans. They are natural or synthetic compounds such as gluten, phytic acids, tannins, oxalates, lectins, isoflavones, trypsin inhibitors, saponins, solanine, and chaconine. They interfere with the absorption of nutrients, digestive enzymes, vitamins and minerals; causing digestive issues and nutritional deficiencies.
Why Do They Exist?
Mostly, these compounds are from seed foods. Creating these antinutrients was nature’s defense mechanism to ensure the continuation of those food’s production. By having those compounds, predators, bugs or pests would stay away from those plants.
How to Get Rid of Them…
For us humans, it is easy to lower the antinutrient effects of foods containing them by different methods such as sprouting, soaking, fermenting, boiling, heating, pressure cooking. These ancient practical methods increase the absorption of vitamins by lowering their antinutrient contents, makes them easy to digest.
Where are the Top Antinutrients Found?
Commonly found in grains, legumes, millet, soybean, sesame seeds, wheat, beans, nightshade and cruciferous vegetables, corn.
How can you reduce or disable the function of these antinutrients?
Here are three common easier ways of reducing antinutrients:
Want to know more about Antinutrients?
Gluten: Found in most grains, a plant protein that inhibits enzymes, causing digestive issues.
Phytic Acid: Found in legumes and grains and inhibits absorption of minerals.
Tannins: Enzyme inhibitor, causing digestive distress and protein deficiency.
Oxalate: Enzyme inhibitor (commonly found in millet, soybeans, sesame seeds), causing protein deficiency and digestive issues.
*Lectins: Found in wheat and beans, interfering with digestion, reducing nutrient absorption and causing gastrointestinal issues.
Isoflavones: Found in soybeans, mimic estrogen properties and affect hormones and digestion.
Trypsin Inhibitors: Found in grains, they inhibit trypsin and chymotrypsin, causing mineral deficiencies and affecting pancreatic function.
Saponins: Found in beans and wheat, reduce nutrient absorption, interfere with digestion, and affect the gastrointestinal lining.
Solanine: Found in nightshade veggies, and can cause gastrointestinal problems.
Chaconine: Founding in solanaceae family and corn, they can cause digestion issues
Do what you can to reduce your antinutrients, and do not worry about them too much. Enjoy your veggies, legumes, nuts, beans, etc, unless if they don’t settle with you.