Soaking your Oats provides a better start to your day this Winter
May I start by quoting from my bible, Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions, to explain why soaking your oats can be very important especially if we have poor digestion and gut problems, which is generally the case when consumers are sourcing GF Oats in Australia.
All grains contain phytic acid (an organic acid in which phosphorous is bound) in the outer layer or bran. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron especially zinc in the intestinal track and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in unfermented whole grains may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. The modern misguided practice of consuming large amounts of unprocessed bran often improves colon transit time at first but may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and, in the long term, many other adverse effects. Soaking allows enzyme, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize phytic acid. As little as seven hours of soaking in warm acidulated water will neutralize a large portion of phytic acid in grains. The simple practice of soaking cracked or rolled cereal grains overnight will vastly improve their nutritional benefits.
Often, we don't have the enzyme to break elements of certain foods, which often results in stomach pain, indigestion, and constipation and over time mineral deficiency or worse.
What is Phytic Acid?
Plants store phosphorus in their tissues, including their seeds and bran, as phytic acid. When this compound is consumed through the foods we eat, it inhibits the absorption of essential minerals, such as calcium, magnesium and iron.
That’s because phytic acid binds with these minerals to form phytates. Humans don't have the necessary enzymes in their system to break phytates down, so essentially a fair amount of the minerals pass through our small intestine without being absorbed.
How to Reduce Phytic Acid is in Oats by soaking
There are a couple ways to reduce phytic acid in oats to boost your body’s mineral intake while enjoying a bowl of oatmeal. The main method is to soak the oats 12 hours or overnight in water or your choice of milk using the same ratio of liquid to oats as you normally would to cook them. Soaking activates an enzyme in the oats called phytase that naturally breaks down phytic acid.
I would highly recommend soaking your GF oats if you are following a gluten free diet.
We have some delicious suggestions for Overnight Oats in our Recipe Database on www.wheatfree.com.au - The Home of GF Oats in Australia.