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Why It’s VERY Important To Soak Oats Before You Eat Them

Posted Jan 15 2009 4:59pm

oats A friend of mine recently had a blood test for mineral deficiency, and it turns out that she’s deficient in vitamin b12. This surprised me because she has an incredibly healthy diet. But what the naturopath told her completely took me by surprise. She was told that the oatmeal she was eating each morning was possibly blocking the production of Vitamin b12 in her body!

You must soak oats for several hours before you eat them

It’s really, really important to soak your oats for several hours before you eat them, whether or not you end up cooking them. Somehow this knowledge of having to soak oats got lost about the same time fast food came in. I guess we all just got a bit lazy and we didn’t understand why we were soaking them in the first place.

Ever since people first started eating oats, they either soaked or fermented them first. And when oats were first packaged and sold in grocery stores, there were even soaking instructions on the box. You never see that anymore.

Why oats need to be soaked

Here’s an extract from Nourishing Traditions which explains the reason why oats need to be soaked better than I could -

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 led 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.

I see a lot of conversation in acne forums about grains and how grains can make the skin a lot worse. It kind of makes a lot of sense to me now. A diet high in unsoaked or unfermentated grains can in fact lead to mineral deficiency and irritable bowel syndrome so it’s no wonder that our skin is better once we stop eating them. And lets be realistic - who here soaks and ferments all their grains? Not me.

Interestingly, the Body Ecology Diet only allows for a small number of grains, and recommends soaking the grains before eating or cooking them. And since that book is all about cleaning out the colon and improving the digestive system, it just proves again how important it is to soak grains, or at least your oats before you eat them.

So from now on, I’m going to soak my oats in water each night before I go to bed!

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