Simplifying nutrition and using food as medicine - one bite at a time.

My goal with this blog is to set folks straight about what good nutrition really is! Starting by discarding the info we get every day from 'sponsors' that do not really have our best interests at heart, I want to inspire you to eat better AND realize it is much easier than you thought it would be!

Just about any health issues can be addressed with nutrition (and meditation), from mild to chronic to acute. We truly have the ability to heal ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually...

And you can use your daily routine as your vehicle to drive that change :)

Join me...

Quote of the Month

"When food, in the minds of eaters, is no longer associated with farming and with the land, then the eaters are suffering a kind of cultural amnesia that is misleading and dangerous"
~Wendell Berry

Monday, February 22, 2010

If We Only Knew Now What We Knew Then

Are you absorbing the nutrients from your food?

Looking back in history and in many cases still today (outside North America), traditional peoples from all around the world were fermenting, soaking, or sprouting their grains, legumes and nuts/seeds (picture a Japanese family fermenting soy beans to make miso or a Bavarian woman fermenting her flour to make sourdough bread). They somehow inherently knew that these foods required these techniques to break down ‘anti-nutrients’, such as phytic acid, creating better mineral absorption and other nutrient content as well increasing enzymes. It also creates a more alkaline product (we all seem to need more alkalinity these days).

It’s amazing how traditional wisdom can be so easily overlooked or 'lost in translation' from generation to generation. And now our modern, fast-paced diets, without these principles, are taking a toll on our health with a huge increase in food allergies, digestive/intestinal problems, immune deficiencies, etc.  (Let's not even mention the increase in stress of our lifestyles).

Did you know...amongst the top 3 reasons for hospitalization and intake of pharmaceutical drugs is digestive/intestinal disorders.  The vast majority of these issues can be reversed with improving your food quality and managing your stress (take a deep breath once in a while!...especially before/after eating please...more on that in future posts)

Science now proves:
• The phytic acid present in most grains, beans, nuts and seeds binds with calcium, zinc, magnesium and iron, rendering these nutrients almost impossible to absorb and therefore leaving us mal-nourished. Over time this will leave us with a deficit that can potentially lead to many different chronic and acute diseases.  Soaking, sprouting or fermenting these foods will neutralise the phytic acid and allow for optimal absorption of these critical nutrients.

• ‘Enzyme inhibitors’ are also neutralized with soaking, not only increasing vitamin content, but dramatically increasing enzyme content.

• Gluten and other hard to digest proteins are broken down, which makes for easy digestion. *Rye, Barley, Wheat, Kamut and Spelt and most oat products contain gluten.

Using these techniques:
• Soak grains, legumes, nuts & seeds for at least 7 hours before use, ideally in an acidic medium (e.g. a dash of apple cider vinegar, a squeeze of lemon or tsp. of yogourt) or just water.

• Buy or make whole grain sourdough breads.  These have undergone full fermentation of the dough.
*Yeast fermentation does not neutralize phytic acid or release the bound nutrients.
Her eis a link for some good recipes and photos:

• Soak nuts/seeds overnight, drain and then place in oven on lowest possible setting (pilot light for gas or 150 F electric) or, even better, a dehydrator to dry throughout (up to 16+ hours). This vastly increases storage time, provides better crunch and flavour. *I do a big batch of nuts and seeds approx. once per month and then store them in glass jars in my pantry for a healthy and easy snack or meal embellishment.

• Eat sprouted grains, legumes, nuts and seeds (see my recent post on sprouting and the resources noted).  There are many sprouted grain breads on the market today. *See this link: for a great article from the Boston Globe with a yummy recipe to boot.

Oxalic Acid
This is found primarily in leafy green vegetables such as chard, spinach, beet greens, mustard greens. It binds with calcium and iron and inhibits their absorption.

*Lightly steaming (or sautéing) is enough to neutralize the oxalic acid found within.
Don't be overwhelmed by all this information, especially if it is all new to you.  Take it in stride and gradually make improvements and, in no time, you'll be achieving these things easily and with minimal effort.  In the whole scheme of things it is a minor change but with VAST benefits over time.

Be well-nourished from the inside out...Lisa Marie

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