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Antinutrients?! What, How, Where?!


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:



You can soak your grains, seeds, beans, nuts to effectively reduce or deactivate the enzyme inhibiting antinutrient’s function. These antinutrients are usually around the food items and because they are water-soluble, easily get washed away. Simply soak them in spring or distilled water for up to 12 hours. It can be less depending on what you are soaking.



Sprouting is another effective way to reduce antinutrients such as phytate, and amylase and trypsin inhibitor in legumes, grains and seeds. When these items start to germinate and sprout, their nutritional content increases. First rinse them to remove any leftover residual debris that might be on their surface, then soak them for minimum 2 hours, up to 12 hours in cool spring or distilled water. Once done, rinse them again once more and put your soaked items in a sprouting basket that’s out of direct sunlight. Every 8 hours, rinse them again, drain the water, and put them back in your sprouted. Repeat this for two to four times. Voilá! You have effectively reduced a lot of antinutrients.



It has been shown that high heat can easy destroy lectins, protease inhibitors and tannins. Therefore, you can use this method to effective reduce the antinutrients. If you want a more effective version of boiling, use a pressure cooker to destroy the anti-nutrients. We recommend Instant Pot.

Want to know more about Antinutrients?

Read Below…

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

 Liberate Yourself:

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.

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