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What is an anti-nutrient?

by Okanagan Nutrition

Sounds bad, doesn’t it?

By definition, anti-nutrients are compounds found in plant foods that have the potential to lower the nutritional content of the food.

They can do this by making the food more difficult to digest OR by binding up certain nutrients like iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium.

Some examples of anti-nutrients include phytates and lectins (legumes and grains), tannins (tea, coffee, fruit) and fiber (yes fiber) — just to name a few!

Should you be worried about these “anti-nutrients”?

Absolutely not!

Soaking, cooking, sprouting and fermenting all help decrease the anti-nutrient content of foods like legumes and grains, and help increase the amount of nutrients absorbed!

What’s more is that many of these “anti-nutrients”, have actually been found to be extremely beneficial to our health — take fiber for example!

Moral of the story

Don’t be mislead by the term “anti-nutrient” — I know, nutrition is confusing.

The more we learn about these NUTRIENTS, the more we see that they may be a part of what gives grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruit and veg some of their disease fighting properties.

Keep eating a variety of whole, plant-based foods and the next time someone tells you to not eat kale because of its glucosinolates (anti-nutrient) … smile and keep munchin!

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