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AlphaKratos

Antinutrients and some ways to destroy them

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AlphaKratos

So, I looked around the site for a bit and found no real info on antinutrients. I would like to share my knowledge of antinutrients and ways to destroy them.

 

Now, antinutrients are compounds found in all foods, with higher concentrations in vegetables, lower concentrations in fruits. These compounds either bind certain nutrients (calcium, iron, zinc, etc.) or inhibit the body's ability to properly digest food, losing some nutrition. interestingly, dietary fiber is also an antinutrient.

 

 

Anyway, ways of destroying antinutrients includes germinating, cooking, fermenting, and malting foods.

 

Some foods should be eaten raw for best nutritional quality. Most fruits and cruciferous vegetables fall into this category.

 

Members of the spinach family, dark leafy greens, or plants high in oxalates should be cooked.

 

Foods high in carotenoids such as tomatoes and carrots should also be cooked, as this releases more of the antioxidants and vitamins. try skinless sweet potato cooked together with mashed carrots.

 

All nuts should have their hulls and skins removed. blanched nuts are great, but some nuts could be "activated" (marketing term meaning sprouted) to remove antinutrients. Almonds (my favorite nut, and an excellent source of vitamin E), can be processed in the following way. Put a good amount of organic, raw almonds in a bowl, rinse them until the water is clear, and then fill them with fresh water, a little bit of salt, and a little bit of some kind of acid. Leave them in the water for a few days, until you notice some sprouting. Drain the almonds, dry them,and then pop them in an oven or preferably a dehydrator. dehydrate them until crunchy, and you now have a healthy snack with most if not all antinutrients removed, but still retaining maximum nutritional value.

 

 

For now, this is as much as I have readily available. As I learn more through my own research and my nutrition classes, I will likely update this topic. Other people should feel freeto share their knowledge of removing antinutrients,so we can have a comprehensive guide to the absolutely best methods of food preparation. I hope you all like this topic and find the information useful.

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Keilani Gutierrez

this totally blew my mind. cooking certain fruits and vegetables releases antioxidants?

 

can you link me to some reference material or books i can buy to help with the pertaining claim? 

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Marco Filippone

I use almost the same method with nuts like almonds, less the cooking part (why do you actually cook or dehydrate 'em??? well dehydration is good for storage purposes ;P ). I just soak them so that the germination process begins, so they are good to go after 12/24hours.

 

But please, keep in mind that Phytic acid (thats what we are fighting with the soaking of the nuts) is an antinutrien, but can also be an Antioxidant (contrasting Iron), it moderates the glycemic response and it has some other good properties.

I advice to eat raw, unsoaked nuts also when eating foods rich in iron, possibly when you have a good intake of Vitamin C, and separate from your main meal sources of minerals.

 

I'll post other advices as soon as they come in my mind ;)

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AlphaKratos

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Joshua Naterman

this totally blew my mind. cooking certain fruits and vegetables releases antioxidants?

 

can you link me to some reference material or books i can buy to help with the pertaining claim? 

It's basic stuff...

 

Freezing and steaming both rupture a much higher proportion of cell walls than our chewing process accomplishes, which is really important to do because we can't digest cellulose hardly at all, and that stuff is what surrounds all the goodies.

 

All vegetables will have more nutrition available if frozen before being cooked, though sometimes the texture suffers as a result.

 

 

 

There is a more interesting approach, based on organic chemistry and biochemistry.

 

Basically, the minerals that are most commonly bound by antinutrients are bivalent. Calcium and magnesium are always bivalent, and zinc, iron, and quite a number of the transition metals can have an oxidation state of 2 (very common in plant iron, which is the ferric form). Some of these, like Iron, can be converted to oxidation state 3 with vinegar or citric acid (think lemon juice, or citrus fruit). However, most or all of these minerals that have an oxidation state of 2 ( I believe, please correct me if I'm wrong about the breadth of this statement), which is everything I listed above, will form a complex that is unaffected by antinutrients if beta-carotene is present.

 

Beta carotene is in almost everything, but carrots and spinach both have a ton. So do most greens, because carotenoids are actually used in photosynthesis to capture specific wavelengths of light.

 

Anyways, the short version is this: Eat greens and carrots or sweet potatoes (or anything else that has lots of beta carotene) with your grains or pseudograins. The phytic acid will be unable to effectively bind the nutrients, rendering it useless without actually destroying it.

 

Cooking does very little to affect phytic acid, which is one of the main antinutrients in our diets.

 

Yet another approach is to make a 0.3 solution of FOOD GRADE hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).

 

It MUST be food grade, because the normal stuff is stabilized with heavy metals like tin. You don't want to ingest that.

 

You'll want to order the food grade H2O2 by the gallon online.

 

It will typically be 30%, so make sure to wear gloves when handling it. That's powerful stuff.

 

 

 

What you do is this: Mix 1 part H2O2 with 9 parts water. This should give you 3% H2O2, which you will keep in a bottle. An easy one is 100mL H2O2, 900mL water.

 

This 3% solution is what you'll use to make the 0.3% solution.

 

Low percentage H2O2 like this degrades very quickly, which is why you aren't making massive batches at once... besides, who wants a 100 gallon container of 0.3% H2O2? Where would you put that?!

 

Anyhow, your 0.3% solution is your soak for grains or pseudograins. You just do the same thing... add 1 part 3% H2O2 and 9 parts water to your grains! It's ok to eyeball this.

 

From what I remember, a 5-10 minute soak is enough for grains. This destroys nearly all the phytic acid quite rapidly, which is nice if you don't want to germinate things (or even if you do).

 

Then you just rinse and cook the grains as usual.

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AlphaKratos

Hm, very interesting approach with the hydrogen peroxide..... where did you learn all of this stuff? I mean, you already clearly knew about antinutrients in foods, you posted some unbelievable advice for nutrtion, you really seem to know your stuff. I'm trying to rewire a lifetime of bad teachings and bad habits to not only help myself, but to be able to help other people achieve better lives through better nutrition. Do you have any resources or advice on where we can learn all of this stuff?

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Joshua Naterman

No, I don't.

 

Some is from chemistry class, and some is from random readings all over the online and offline world.

 

I am something of a collector, and I collect knowledge related to pretty much all aspects of physical and psychological health and performance. That's a pretty wide range of areas.

 

I am also massively curious about how things work, and I have been lucky enough to have been taught how to learn efficiently at a young age, so I have had a lot of time to collect.

 

 

 

I have said this in other threads, but if you want to learn you have to learn HOW to learn.

 

You start by learning known science. That doesn't mean you just read textbooks, but you focus on mastering known fundamentals for whatever you are interested in. After that you just progress through each course until you have mastered all the basics of your field, which are usually quite extensive. At that point, you will start to specialize, but this alone will give you the knowledge that you need to make good decisions about the quality of any given information that you come across.

 

This is not easy, or quick, but it is pretty much the only way to guarantee that you are continually making well-informed decisions about what you read.

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Joshua Naterman

I highly, highly recommend physics 1 and 2.

 

Physics is simply "how the world works."

 

Chemistry is how physics causes atoms to become molecules, and is really the application of known physics to individual atoms and, later, molecules, and then entire states of matter.

 

It's really cool stuff, and, to me, makes the world much more fascinating.

 

You will need to know math to learn these things.

 

 

You can learn general and organic chemistry without much math, and all you need for general physics is algebra, geometry, and trigonometry.

 

 

Knowing these things will make nutrition and physiology much easier to learn, because you will understand WHY the things that you learn are correct.

 

Statistics are good to understand, because understanding the basics in this field will allow you to identify good, and bad, research.

 

Eventually you have to learn to combine things.

 

For example, we all know that professional gymnasts are ridiculously strong, so if you see a study that uses an elementary body weight exercise like a body weight dip as a strength test for a gymnast, it is a bad study. For gymnasts, dips are pure anaerobic endurance.

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Keilani Gutierrez

basic...to the initiated :P #learning

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Larry Roseman

Not to forget that the body has it's own ways to handle anti-nutrients. And unless you are showing signs of a deficiency there is no real need to obsess about eliminating them from one's food, beyond using the basic steps.

 

Hydrogen peroxide (35% food grade) as mentioned needs to be handled very carefully and should be stored like a poison if there are kids in your home.

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Daniel Burnham

Hmm. Not sure i would put hydrogen peroxide on my food. No doubt it works and if rinsed properly there is no harm, but that is a common remedy to make dogs throw up. We would use it at the vet when dogs would eat too much medicine or a large amount of chocolate.

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Joachim Nagler

R-phrases for hydrogen peroxide: R20/22:harmful by inhalation and if swallowed

                                                      R35: causes severe burns

                                                      R5: Heating may cause an explosion

 

 

That being said, the concentration that Josh recommended is probably not harmful, but I still wouldn't put it on my food.

BUT you need to know what you're doing and you need proper equipment to handle the 30% solution.  

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AlphaKratos

a .3% solution won't harm you, and hydrogen peroxide quickly breaks down into water and oxygen.

 

hydrogen peroxide= H2O2, which is not as stable as H2O and O, so H2O2 breaks down pretty fast to water and oxygen.

 

 

Excellent advice Mr. Naterman, And I have taken many of these courses, but even at a college level, education is eroding. I'm sure it would be different if I attend a university, but for now I'm stuck at community college. I will continue with my studies then.

 

Also, FutureisNow, why make the body work harder to remove or disable the antinutrients when proper food prep does it for you? remember that the processing will also release more nutrients as well as destroy anti nutrients, so you really get more benefit from proper food prep.

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Larry Roseman

Also, FutureisNow, why make the body work harder to remove or disable the antinutrients when proper food prep does it for you? remember that the processing will also release more nutrients as well as destroy anti nutrients, so you really get more benefit from proper food prep.

Why do exercises to make your muscles work harder? It causes damage right? Because you gain from it.

 

I'm not saying to abuse your body, just not to baby it. The body is meant to be challenged. It's how it adapts.

 

For example, there's some evidence that removal of allergens and microorganisms has led to increased cases of allergies and auto-immune disorders. Not relating the studies but for this point of view:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/opinion/lets-add-a-little-dirt-to-our-diet.html?_r=0

 

Likewise, I'm sure you know that taking anti-oxidants in pill form isn't very helpful as it causes

the body to downregulate its own production of the same, but having them in food doesn't.

I thought this was very interesting and worthwhile reading..., HIGHLY recommend the audio

links!

http://gettingstronger.org/2011/03/the-case-against-antioxidants/

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AlphaKratos

I suppose I see your point here, but I'm thinking for rigorous gymnastic training, the body is already pushed pretty hard, so why add the added stress of harder working digestion? Its a point that can probably be argued to death in both directions. Great links, lots of helpful and interesting information there.

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Joshua Naterman

Your gastric system is very, very separate from your musculoskeletal system. Don't freak out.

 

That's all I'm saying :)

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FREDERIC DUPONT

HAHAHA... oxygen peroxyde was used by fraudsters in Beijing some time ago to clean up the carcasses of dead chicken and sell them to street BBQ vendors for human consumption  :D

 

(completely) Eliminating antinutrients and "poisons" that plants synthetise in small amounts to protect themselves, from our food might be a mistake: Hormesis is when a small dose of a harmful substance is actually beneficial for the organism, acting as medicine. A little bit of an otherwise offending substance, not too much, acts to benefit the organism, and make it better overall as it triggers some overreaction.

 

This overreaction of the organism is in many ways similar to the phenomenon of overcompensation that athletes are using to trigger increases in their performance.

 

There is more: a rapidly expanding field of study looks at how the removal of minor, but ever present stress in our developed societies (removal of antinutrients in processed foods for instance), in the name of comfort", might be causing more harm than good and express itself in the exponential growth of allergic diseases, diabetes, etc...

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Arto Ratilainen

Likewise, I'm sure you know that taking anti-oxidants in pill form isn't very helpful as it causes

the body to downregulate its own production of the same, but having them in food doesn't.

I thought this was very interesting and worthwhile reading..., HIGHLY recommend the audio

links!

http://gettingstronger.org/2011/03/the-case-against-antioxidants/

I certainly didn't. Great and interesting information in that link. Thanks! I'll try removing pills from my diet B)

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Antonio Boyer

To my understanding the more clean your diet is the greater risk you have of getting sick if you don't follow it. Like if someone who has been raw vegan for 30 years goes to eat at mcdonalds they could get seriously ill or might even die. so if you do take an approach of eliminating all anti nutrients that would be something you need to do for life. 

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Joshua Naterman

We all have to step back from all the science for a moment, take a deep breath, and put on our Thinking Caps.

 

How long have humans been around? 35,000+ years as our current species, and over 4 million years before that as other species. Is it so hard to believe that our bodies have been selected, by nature, across hundreds of thousands of generations, to thrive in Nature?

 

It is good to keep up with science, that's great and I do it all the time (or try to), but underneath it all we need to remember the basics: Our bodies have spent a very, very long time learning to function in the plant and animal world of the pre-industrial era. If we stick to eating plants and animals with every meal, we are going to be fine. If we start depriving our bodies of hundreds, and probably thousands, of chemicals that they have grown to DEPEND on, by eating pre-cooked, processed foods and trying to take a few (or a lot) of pills that give us a few dozen chemicals instead, we should not be surprised when we don't function as well as we think we should.

 

Do not freak out about antinutrients, just have fats, proteins, carbs (with pelnty of veggies in here!) at every meal and you will be excellent.

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Marcos Mocine-McQueen

...Like if someone who has been raw vegan for 30 years goes to eat at mcdonalds they could get seriously ill or might even die. so if you do take an approach of eliminating all anti nutrients that would be something you need to do for life. 

I appreciate what you're saying here and there is some truth in the general concept. While I eat there occasionally, I think McDonalds is bad voodoo. That said, I think that the idea that someone might die from a single exposure to a Big Mac is highly unlikely. I have never heard of a fatal acute illness resulting from eating a normal (that is not infected with ecoli etc...) burger and fries.

 

In my 13 years of near-continuous work as an EMT/paramedic I've never once responded to a scene where the Hamburgler stood laughing over the body of previously healthy person who had been lured into a dark drive-through by the smell of fries.

 

There is undisputed evidence that chronic exposure to McDonalds and junk food kills. Acute exposure, however, is unlikely to kill folks. Upset tummy? almost certainly... Really sick? probably... Dead? unlikely.

 

That said, your broader points are very smart and accurate. 1) Junk food is more than just a clever name. 2) It is likely to make those who eat healthy feel really bad. 3) Taking on a new way of eating should be a long term plan, not just a dabble. Before starting on an extreme diet one should think about the long term.

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Ian Myers

Should I be concerned with a high oxalate intake? Its mostly from spinach, and it seems like its pretty hard to remove a significant amount of them.

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Larry Roseman

You probably googled this by now. In general most people can handle a moderate intake of oxalates without any 

difficulties.  Intake of this class of antinutrient does not seem to have a redeeming value (or we don't know what it is yet). It isn't readily absorbed but it is a toxin; the body just excretes it.

 

Yet, there are 3 areas of potential concern:

 

1) If somone have a serious heath condition and can not tolerate them, they must be avoided almost completely.

If you are are one of these people, you hopefully know it by now!

 

2) Oxalates do bind with minerals in the intestine such as calcium, magnesium (and B vitamins perhaps) making the combination un-abosrbable as a whole. This is actually helpful in that the oxalates aren't absorbed, but not so great because overall nutrient availability is reduced by a percentage. Therefore, it's recommended to eat a wide variety of foods and vegetables and not just higher oxalate foods like spinach, to ensure overall adequate nutrient intake and availability. 

 

Of note, gut bacteria also degrade oxalate so it becomes harmless. One strain, an impressive little bug oxalobacter formigenes, is most involved apparently. So maintaining a health gut flora is also advised, for this and many other reasons.

 

3) The oxalate that isn't bound or rendered harmless in the gut can be absorbed into the bloostream. In most cases, this simply will be later excreted in the urine.  However in certain folks, typically males, the oxalate binds with body minerals and precipitating in the body tissues -  most famously in the kidney as "stones". What's important to note here is that only a small portion of the oxalate in the stone actually comes from the food source itself.

 

Certain folks may have a metabolism defect that causes the body to produce excess oxalate. Nevertheless, someone who has oxalate stones or a family history may be advised to lower oxalate intake. Also, maintaining adequate fluid and mineral intake is generally advised.

 

But in general, with a balanced diet and good fluid intake as is recommended here, subject to the above caveats, you should be fine.

 

For more information see:

 

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=48

http://askgeorgie.com/calcium-absorption-and-oxalates/

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/26/10/1073.full.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3071521/

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