While there are people who genuinely cannot eat grains no matter what, I believe that on the whole, grains are not all bad, and many people who react badly to grains could eat them with no negative effects if those grains were prepared properly.
The key to eating grains is unlocking the nutrients hidden inside and removing the inflammatory phytic acid. I’m not talking about white flour, which is an empty, nutrient devoid substance. Whole, unrefined grains are the topic of today’s discussion. Grains need careful and specific preparation because they contain antinutrients that can be the cause of serious health problems. Improper preparation before consuming grains leads to high levels of inflammation and damage to the gut lining, which in turn can lead to celiac, chron’s, IBS, ect.
The phytic acis in grains blocks the absorption of nutrients and can cause mineral deficiencies and even bone loss. Whole grains also contain enzyme inhibitors which can lead to digestive disorders. They also have complex sugars which the body can’t break down, and gluten and other hard to digest proteins.
Soaking your grains in an acidic medium, sprouting, or fermenting them (sourdough) neutralizes the phytic acid and enzyme blockers. Vitamin content increases, especially B vitamins. Complex sugars, and the famously-difficult-to-digest gluten, are broken down and made readily available for absorption. Soaking, sprouting or sour leavening allows beneficial bacteria to go to work and do much of the breaking down for us, creating a gut friendly nutritious food source. Proper preparation also lowers the carbohydrate percentage and increases the protein content, which is a bonus.
Fat-soluble vitamins A and D, found in animal fats like grassfed, organic butter, tallow, lard, and raw cream help us absorb calcium, phosphorus, iron, B vitamins and the many other vitamins and minerals in grains. Contrary to popular belief, healthy fats are actually just that: healthy. Extremely so. Smother your sourdough bread in butter or raw milk cheese, pour raw cream on your soaked oatmeal, top your rice with coconut oil or butter… These fats, as described above, assist in breaking down and digesting grains and help your body absorb the vitamins. So, between the traditional preparation, and the healthy fats, your body will be much happier with grains and they can be a delicious, nutricous addition to your diet.
Soak your oats, rice, wheat berries, and beans (24-48 hours for beans) in warm water with about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, yogurt or whey for 12-24 hours or even longer if you like. (My body seems to like 24 hours best.) Drain, rinse them off and cook them as directed. If you are not using the slow fermented sourdough, its easy to take the flour and liquid called for in your recipe and soak it with some vinegar overnight before continuing with your baking. I will be providing recipes to that effect. Sourdough is actually very simple and I will try to do a video demonstration on that in the near future. The hands on time involved is truly minimal.
I had gotten to the point where nothing I ate was doing me good. My body was even rejecting water. I can honestly say that switching to this tried and true, ancient method of grain preparation and consumption made all the difference for me. I went from being able to eat pretty much nothing, to eating ALL the foods, whenever I want!
Lets be kind to our bodies, and use the wisdom handed down to us. Our ancestors knew their stuff. We can learn a lot from them.