Are grains bad for you?
In short, no. I don’t believe it is healthy to cut out major food groups, because this is restrictive, and not very practical. However, I find personally my body functions best when I lean towards a paleo based diet, where I eliminate most grains. I still eat them occasionally, though. I am going to share a method I use to prepare my grains, which make them easier digested and also allow the nutrients in them to be properly absorbed. This is important, because grains contain high levels of antinutrients and phytic acid, which can cause disruption in your GI track. My gut is highly sensitive, so I try to ensure that I am not consuming any foods that will disturb it.
Here’s how to do it:
Soak your grains overnight with filtered water and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Simply place the grains or legumes in a bowl, and fill to the top with filtered water. Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Cover with aluminium foil and leave overnight. Beans and legumes soaked over night will improve hteir nutritional value. The majority of the antinutrients found in the grains and legumes are in the skin, and they are water-soluble, meaning when they are soaked in water the antinutrients will dissolve. Soaking also decreases phytate and lectins in legumes. It’s really that simple!
Once they are done soaking, drain the grains completely, and rinse them well with cold water. They are now ready to be prepared. I did this today with red lentils and black rice.
After they have been soaked, you will see that the majority of liquid will be soaked up, particularly for legumes.
As I mentioned, be sure to rinse them off with cold water before preparing.
The most common ways I incorporate soaked grains or legumes is mixed in salad bowls. For example, I made this delicious salad bowl recently. It contained soaked black rice, sweet potato wedges, avocado, cucumber and carrot:
I also love oatmeal, quinoa or buckwheat for breakfast, but I always soak them the night before I consume them. I have a recipe for oatmeal, that I highly recommend checking out (it’s delish).
Other tips I have for grain consumption is to not eat them at every single meal. Instead, focus on fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and meats. These foods tend to be more nutritionally dense than grains. Lastly, stay away from white rice, white pasta, white bread and so on. Instead, choose ancient grains such as quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat and millet.
I hope these tips were helpful!