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Amazing Grains - Is soaking and fermenting grain necessary?

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Is it really necessary to soak grains and flours before preparation?

My reading has persuaded me that soaking and fermenting grains and flours has many health benefits. But I also recognize that I am not the authority, or professional nutritionist on this matter nor do I expect you, my readers, to take my word for gospel.

I would strongly suggest you do some research on this matter to make up your own mind. Here are three resources to get your started:

1. Nourishing Traditions By Sally Fallon and Dr Mary Enig

Proper grain preparations is for the purpose of eliminating anti-nutrients such as phytic acid, and enzyme inhibitors. In Sally Fallon's book Nourishing Traditions she says:

"Enzyme inhibitors can inhibit digestion and put stress on the pancreas; irritating tannins; complex sugars which the body cannot break down; and gluten and related hard-to-digest proteins which may cause allergies, digestive disorders and even mental illness."

Fallon further states regarding the soaking/fermenting processes:

"Such processes neutralize phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Vitamin content increases, particularly B vitamins. Tannins, complex sugars, gluten and other difficult-to-digest substances are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption."

Lastly, Fallon points out it is critical to consume grains with butter, cream or fats to be able to absorb the full compliment of nutrients:

". . . Fat-soluble vitamins A and D found in animal fats like butter, lard and cream help us absorb calcium, phosphorus, iron, B vitamins and the many other vitamins that grains provide. Porridge eaten with cream will do us a thousand times more good than cold breakfast cereal consumed with skim milk."

To read the complete article entitled "Be Kind To Your Grains" by Sally Click Here.

2. Another very in depth article called, Against the Grain The Case for Rejecting or Respecting the Staff of Life by Katherine Czapp explains the wheat industry, how celiac disease is related to modern industrial food manufacturing, and of course what "real bread" is and how to make it.

3. Understanding the Two Stage Process - Maximizing Nutritional Value

by SUE GREGG, author of the Sue Gregg Cookbooks

Sue says:
"To conclude, I suggest that occasional consumption of whole grains that are not processed by one of the three two-stage methods (soaking, fermenting, sprouting) is not likely detrimental to health and may contribute a plus, while those that are properly processed as the main dietary choice will be greatly beneficial to health."

Sue also writes:
"Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CNN, author of The Whole Soy Story, points to the Hebrews as an example of consuming both leavened and unleavened bread. The former, which was produced through the fermentation process from wild yeasts was practiced most of the time. The latter, unleavened bread, was part of the the Hebrew preparation for Passover in early spring, "a natural time for fasting, a practice that encourages detoxification." Daniel suggests that these yearly short periods "might have been a very effective way to rid the body of any heavy metals through the action of phytic acid." On the other hand, Daniel reminds us that "Decades of research on the phytates of real foods have shown that phytates are anti nutrients--more likely to contribute to disease than prevent it." (
Ed note: Chapter 14 addresses Phytates in much more depth.)

You can read Sue's complete article if you Click Here




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