Practical techniques to remove antinutrients

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.

Practical tips for eliminating food antinutrients

Spinach with walnuts recipe
Spinach with walnuts recipe. It is better to eat cooked spinach than raw ones, becauses cooking removes oxalates

The main techniques for eliminating antinutrients from the main foods are mentioned below:

Correct consumption of  foods with many oxalates

When foods with many oxalates, such as spinach, chard or beet, are usually consumed, it is better to boil them or combine them with dairy products.

Do not stop eating these foods because of their oxalate content, because their potential benefits are much more important than the possible disadvantages of oxalates. Care should only be taken in case of diseases that require a diet low in oxalates.

Some people wonder if it is possible to combine them with sesame: yes, sesame or sesame seeds have a lot of calcium, like dairy, but, as seeds they are, they also contain oxalates. In that sense, dairy products have a certain advantage.

* Related information: Can spinach be eaten raw in juices or salads?

Correct cooking of whole cereals

  • Wash them with plenty of water to remove pollen, dust or dirt
  • Soak whole grains, such as brown rice, millet or oatmeal.
  • There is no specific time, but the longer, the better (eg all night). Soaking should be at room temperature, not refrigeration. This decreases its phytate content. Preferably in warm water, at room temperature and with a splash of lemon in the water (Lemon helps eliminate phytates).
  • This is not necessary with white rice, which is devoid of fiber and does not have these antinutrients.
  • Boil them  in water for the time indicated by the manufacturer.
    * It is recommended to boil the rice with more water than necessary to reduce its arsenic content

* More information: Seeds antinutrients

Correct cooking of vegetables

  • Wash with plenty of water and rub to remove pollen, dust or dirt, and reduce its saponin content.
  • Soak the legumes with plenty of water to hydrate and reduce their phytate content. There is no specific time, but the longer, the better (eg all night). Preferably in warm water, at room temperature and with a splash of lemon in the water (the lemon helps eliminate phytates).
  • In some cases, such as dried beans, they must be soaked for at least 48 hours to hydrate and reduce their antinutrients. Then they must be cooked for at least 2 hours.
  • Boil them  in water for the time indicated by the manufacturer. During boiling many of the legume antinutrients are removed.
  • Cooking them in salt water reduces their antinutrient content and makes them more digestible.

* More information: Legumes antinutrients

Correct seed consumption

  • Wash with plenty of water and rub to remove pollen, dust or dirt
  • Soak to hydrate and reduce phytate content.
  • The soaking time could be from 1 hour overnight, preferably in warm water, at room temperature and with a splash of lemon in the water (Lemon helps eliminate phytates)
  • Consume

Another option would be:

  • Wash with plenty of water and rub to remove pollen, dust or dirt
  • Just wash! Do not soak before toasting because they remain moist, without being crunchy, and do not keep well.
  • Toast in the pan to eliminate antinutrients such as phytates, enzyme inhibitors, etc.
  • Consume

* Related article: How to eliminate antinutrients from food

punto rojo More information on antinutrients

Editorial
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

17 June, 2020

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