Why Are Grains the Hardest Food to Digest?

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by Sil Pancho

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11.15.2021

When you think about it, some of the reasons they make digestion harder are quite obvious. They’re seeds with hard seed casings on the outside. Many were designed to disperse their seeds by passing through an animal’s digestive system unharmed and ending up somewhere else in their feces. The protection is provided by more than just the robust exterior shell.

Grains are notorious for being the most difficult to digest. They are, after all, nothing more than seeds. Seeds are designed to be robust and long-lasting. Birds and animals commonly scatter seeds in their feces after eating the plant’s fruit. Every grain is a seed. That’s correct, seeds are supposed to grow into a plant. They’re not supposed to be eaten. They’re supposed to stay intact until they reach the ideal circumstances for growing a new plant: water, soil, air, and sunshine.

Grains that are hard to digest are:

  • Brown or wild rice
  • Granola
  • Whole-grain pasta 

 

Grains have difficult-to-digest complex proteins.

You’ve probably heard of gluten unless you’ve been living under a rock. One of the complex proteins found in wheat and other cereals is this one. To make matters worse, because of wheat hybridization, the amount of gluten has risen since the 1960s. Proteins are difficult for the body to break down, wreaking havoc on the digestive system. Grain also includes disaccharides, which can be difficult to digest, especially for those who already have digestive issues.

For the human body to absorb and utilize food, it must be in its purest form. Our digestive tract has much to perform, as the name “complex” implies. These proteins can’t be broken down, no matter how hard they try. Complex proteins must be broken down before consumption since human digestive systems are incapable of doing so. Before cooking, the seeds should be sprouted, steeped, or fermented. Sprouting, soaking, and fermenting grain-based meals are simple methods that not only pre-digest the proteins in grains but also eliminate the other issues listed before. And, once you know-how, they’re a piece of cake.

 

Anti-nutrients are found in grains.

Phytic acid is found in many grains, and it interferes with mineral absorption. The small intestine is responsible for nutrient absorption. When you consume foods high in phytic acid, it prevents vital nutrients from being absorbed, which can result in bone loss. To make matters worse, even whole grains have been subjected to a processing procedure that worsens digestive problems. Beans, like cereals, have a lot of phytic acids. Because of the difficulties caused by grains in the modern diet, a new illness known as the leaky gut is becoming more common. It includes a slew of seemingly unconnected symptoms.

 

Digestion necessitates the use of an enzyme as a catalyst.

Enzymes are the foundation of all digestive processes. Because grains are seeds, they have an enzyme inhibitor that prevents them from sprouting if the growth circumstances are favorable. These inhibitors may aid seed growth in ideal conditions, but they do nothing for your stomach. We transfer these inhibitors to the digestive system when we eat grains that haven’t been properly cooked, delaying or stopping the digestion process.

  • Soaking, sprouting, or fermenting grains is one technique to make them healthier to consume. For example, sourdough bread is simpler to digest. Consider sprouted bread, but be sure it’s free of processed flour as well.
  • Ancient grains like amaranth, sorghum, millet, and Kamut, when correctly cooked, maybe a healthier alternative to contemporary grains.
  • Consider an elimination diet if you suspect grains are the source of your digestive problems. Remove all grains from your diet for a week, then reintroduce them. Use ancient grains, sprouted, fermented, or soaked grain products to begin reintroducing them. Add conventional whole-grain items after that.
  • Soaking fermenting and sprouting helps to remove phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors while also making the disaccharides digestible.

Many robust, disease-free ancient societies have ingested grains without difficulty for thousands of years. Because grains contain acid, which inhibits mineral absorption in the small intestines, eating too many grains may impair mineral absorption. This can cause bone loss and is detrimental to all of your organs and tissues. The way grains are treated for commercial usage effectively does not solve the problem and can create stomach issues.

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