Why Soak Grain?
The simple step of soaking grain will neutralize harmful phytic acids and enzyme inhibitors, making it more nutritious and easier to digest.
Soaking your grain can be a pain. It’s just not convenient. No matter how you look at it, ripping open a bag of flour and using it in a recipe is so much easier than waiting 8, 12 or even 24 hours for the flour to soak. The good news is, with a little preparation and routine, you can easily work this healthy traditional practice into your daily life.
Facts About Grains
All grains were created for longevity. If a grain is placed on a patio and never touched, it will stay there for years, unchanged (assuming it remains protected from weather). But if that same grain is buried in damp, fertile soil, at the right temperatures, it will begin to sprout within days.
Grains contain phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Phytic acid is an organic acid in which phosphorus is bound that blocks mineral absorption in the intestinal tract. This acid can be neutralized in as little as seven hours of soaking in water with an acidic medium (like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar). Untreated phytic acid binds with minerals (calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc) blocking their absorption. Enzyme inhibitors can also be neutralized by soaking. They are present in the hulls of all seeds and add beneficial enzymes which increase the amount of nutrients present in the grain, especially B vitamins. All this goodness is locked up and unavailable to us unless we unlock them through soaking, sprouting or souring.
Grains and the Human Body
Protected by their indigestible enzymes, grains can pass through our digestive system completely intact. Unfortunately for us, our bodies must pay a price for consuming these indigestible compounds.
Gluten, lectins, enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid are what we call anti-nutrients. Basically, they steal nutrient stores as the body attempts to digest these indigestible compounds. Eating commercially produced, unsoaked grains can cause serious damage to our bodies over time.