More Nutrition Tips

1. Soak nuts, seeds, grains and beans
Grains, nuts, legumes (green beans, peas, soy, dried lentils and beans) and seeds are rich in enzymes and other nutrients, but they also contain enzyme inhibitors. Sprouting, soaking, sour leavening, fermenting – are all processes that were traditionally used to de-activate enzyme inhibitors, making the foods digestible and their nutrients readily available.

All grains contain phytic acid. Left untreated the phytic acid will combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. Soaking allows enzymes, lactobacilli (beneficial bacteria), and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize the phytic acid. The practice of soaking grains (rice, oats, etc.) overnight in warm acidulated water (add a dollop of yogurt) will neutralize the phytic acid in grains.

There are 2 categories of grains:

  1. Grains containing gluten. These include oats, rye, barley and wheat. These must be soaked to make them digestible
  2. Grains without gluten. These include buckwheat, rice, millet. These contain less phytic acid. In lieu of soaking they may be gently steamed for 2 hours or longer in a mineral-rich gelatinous broth. If you don’t steam, do soak.

Soaking seeds and nuts in warm water will also neutralize enzyme inhibitors and stimulate the production of beneficial enzymes.

After soaking overnight, drain well and dry in a warm, slow oven (maximum 100 degrees) for several hours. You can store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 months.


2. Color your plate
Eat one serving daily from each of the phytonutrient-rich color groups to prevent premature aging and degenerative disease.

Phytonutrients offer protection from cancer and are contained in the following foods:

  • Red: apples, beets, cherries, cranberries, tomatoes, red grapes
  • Orange or Yellow: apricots, cantaloupe, carrots, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, pineapples, yams
  • Green: asparagus, avocado, broccoli, brussels sprouts, celery, kale, leafy green vegetables
  • White/Purple: cauliflower, parsnips, turnips

Some of the best phytonutrient-rich foods are:

  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Chili peppers
  • Citrus fruits
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Flaxseeds
  • Garlic
  • Melons
  • Pink grapefruit
  • Sweet potatoes

3. Choose your oils carefully
When purchasing oils, such as olive or sesame, always choose cold-pressed and unrefined oils.

Other processes used to extract and refine oils involve chemical solvents and temperatures in excess of 450 degrees F. All refined and heat processed oils are rancid and transform into trans-fatty acids at 320 degrees F. Don’t be fooled by the clarity or pleasing aroma of a refined oil. A deodorizing process is used to disguise the odor and further processing is used to filter the cloudiness. Consuming rancid oils and trans-fatty acids interfere with metabolic processes in the body and dramatically increase the risk of heart disease and cancer.

~ by Nancy Hall, R.H.N., Level X

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