Are you aware of or concerned about phytic acid in oats? The following information will help to bring an But, before we discuss phytic acid in oats, let’s take a look at the compound in general and how it affects our digestive system when it’s consumed.
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 much Phytic Acid is in Oats?
Cereals and grains contain significant levels of phytic acid, but that varies depending on the type of grain. For instance wheat supplies over 7 grams of phytates in 100 grams of grain, while oats contain between 0.4 to 2.2 grams of phytates per 100 grams of oats.
Of course, you would want to reduce the level of phytic acid in oats to take advantage of all the wonderful, essential minerals that oats offer. Not to mention, insufficient amounts of minerals can cause health conditions. For example, low iron intake can result in anaemia, especially amongst women and infants.
How to Reduce Phytic Acid is in Oats?
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 using the same ratio of water to oats as you normally would to cook them. Soaking activates an enzyme in the oats called phytase that naturally breaks down phytic acid.
However, unlike other grains, oats do not have a significant amount of the phytase enzyme. So, you may want to consider adding a complement grain or yeast to further reduce the level of phytic acid. Simply add ground rye, wheat, spelt, or buckwheat to the oatmeal at the beginning of the soaking process, using a ratio of 10 percent complement to 90 oats.
Read more specifically about why you need to Soak your Oats when you have gut and digestive issues.