ANTINUTRIENTS–Antinutrients are the compounds that interfere with absorption of nutrients. Anti Nutrients exist in a wide range of plant foods, but they are found in particularly significant amounts in cereals and legumes, such as wheat and beans.
MOST COMMON ANTI NUTRIENTS-
- Grains have PHYTATES( phytic acid)-Mainly found in seeds, grains and legumes,phytic acid reduces the absorption of minerals from a meal. These include iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium.
- Spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables has OXALATES.( Spinach is very high in oxalates, You should avoid spinach and other foods in the very high-oxalate category if you have calcium oxalate stones).
- Tannins-Tannins are bitter astringent polyphenol chemicals of plant origin that are capable of binding and shrinking proteins( Avoid foods with large amounts of tannins if you experience digestion problems when eating them. Unripe fruits, for example, contain tannins. Grapes and pomegranates )
- Broccoli ,cauliflower and cabbage have GOITROGENS.( usually told to avoid for people with thyroid problems)Goitrogens are substances that suppress the thyroid gland by interfering with thyroid hormone production.
SHOULD WE AVOID ALL FOODS WHICH HAS ANTI NUTRIENTS- answer is NO
- Since legumes and grains are almost always eaten cooked, saying they are unhealthy is almost always incorrect.
- Cooking whole grains, beans and vegetables reduces the impact of antinutrients. Many traditional methods of food preparation such as fermentation,pressure cooking increase the nutritive quality of plant foods by reducing certain antinutrients such as phytic acid, polyphenols, and oxalic acid.
- Antinutrients in vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts are a concern only when a person’s diet is composed exclusively of uncooked plant foods.
- Unless a certain food causes you digestive discomfort or other unpleasant symptoms, there’s no need to eliminate it from your diet.
HOW TO REDUCE EFFECT OF ANTINUTRIENTS IN INDIAN DIET-Combining the methods mentioned above can substantially reduce anti- nutrients, at times even completely.
Here is how you can eliminate main anti- nutrients from food:
SOAKING-. Soaking the legumes for 16 hours and draining the legumes before cooking significantly decreased anti-nutrients such as phytic acid, tannins, trypsin inhibitors.
SPROUTING-During the germination of seeds( for eg whole green moong), phytate is degraded, and phosphorous along with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron are liberated.
INDIAN DIET-Basically it’s a combination of rice ,lentils(dal or pulses curry),roti(wheat tortilla) everything in one meal ,but we usually don’t have antinutrients effects, in fact eating a complete meal provides all essential amino acids.
SOAKING and COOKING method (which have inherently been a part of Indian cooking for generations) can get rid of some of the antinutrients.Also using pressure cooker to cook beans ,legumes,dal at high pressure helps to degrade this inhibitors to some extent.
INDIAN DISHES-Aside from making any dish more flavorful, garlic and onions act as mineral absorption enhancers in the diet. Addition of onions and garlic can increase the bioaccessibility of both iron and zinc in two representative cereals and pulses.
INDIAN TEA- it is advised that one should take tea or coffee between meals and not with meals, and not consume iron supplements with these drinks either.
REASONS TO AVOID ANTI NUTRIENTS-For example,people who get kidney stones,specifically calcium oxalate stones are typically advised to limit high-oxalate foods Or people with high thyroid levels may need to avoid goitrogens riched foods.
BE SMART- You can go ahead and cross “antinutrients” off your health worry list, and focus on more important things, like whether you want your spinach sauteed in pan,pressure cooked,steamed at lunch than eating raw or avoiding completely from diet.