The bran, the whole bran and nothing but the bran

It’s all good advice to increase our grain consumption, but what is the right way of eating grains?

Our ancestors and preindustrialised peoples all soaked or fermented their grains before making them into breads, porridge or casseroles, unlike today where convenience and speed is the order of the day.

These practices accord very well with what modern science has discovered about grains. All grains contain phytic acid in the outer layer of bran. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. Soaking allows enzymes to breakdown phytic acid and this practice will greatly improve their nutritional benefit.

Scientists have learned that the proteins in grains, particularly high gluten grains like wheat puts a lot of strain on the digestive mechanism.

Therefore it is suggested to soak your porridge the night before cooking, not only will this help to breakdown phytic acid, but your porridge will cook in half the time it normally does which allows for five extra minutes in bed.

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