Soak It Up: 3 Superfoods You Should Be Eating (and Soaking!)

Chia Seeds Phytic Acid

Soak it up! Chia seeds are one of the most nutritious foods available today. They contain high amounts of protein, fiber, calcium, iron and other nutrients. However, they have been known to cause digestive problems in some people due to their high levels of phytates. These small fibers bind minerals such as magnesium and prevent them from being absorbed properly into your body.

The problem is not just limited to chia seeds. All whole grains tend to have high levels of phytates, which can inhibit the absorption of nutrients. Studies show that eating a diet rich in whole grains may reduce bone mineral density and increase risk for osteoporosis. Even if you don’t suffer from any health issues, consuming too many phytates can lead to symptoms like bloating or gas, which can make you feel unwell.

Phytates are found naturally in plants and are present in all types of nuts, seeds, legumes and vegetables. They act as natural insecticides to keep pests away. But when eaten by humans, they can block our bodies’ ability to absorb certain nutrients. For example, studies have shown that eating soybeans increases the amount of phytate in your blood and causes symptoms similar to those caused by celiac disease.

Soaking is one of the best ways to decrease the amount of phytates in your body. Soaking basically makes seeds and nuts more able to grow by removing phytates, which can prevent them from growing altogether.

The process is easy. First, spread the chia seeds out on a tray and place it in a dry and warm place for around 12 hours. After this time, rinse them off using water – you’ll notice that they have swollen significantly. Then, simply add them into your favorite smoothies or salads.

Ways to Eat Chia Seeds

When it comes to chia seeds, the more the better. They are jam-packed with nutrients and offer a range of health benefits.

You can add them to pretty much any food. Some like to eat them dry as a snack, while others prefer to add them to their breakfast cereal or yogurt. They can even be an ingredient in baked goods.

When you buy chia seeds, you’ll notice that they come in either a white or black shell. Both are equally nutritious (although those with a darker exterior tend to have more antioxidants). You can keep the shell on when adding them to your food, as this isn’t likely to affect the flavor. When eaten, they will act as a thickener in the same way that flax seeds do.

Sources & references used in this article:

The changes in the release level of polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 and ω-6) and lipids in the untreated and water-soaked chia seed by …, TWT Rupasinghe, BA Boughton, U Roessner – Food Research …, 2019 – Elsevier

Powerful Plant-Based Superfoods: The Best Way to Eat for Maximum Health, Energy, and Weight Loss by S Pratt, K Matthews – 2006 – Random House

Raw For All by L Boone – 2013 – books.google.com

Selected superfoods and their derived superdiets by A Stokes – Retrieved Nov, 2008