Why We Cook: Cooking Destroys Antinutrients
Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 26, 2013
Something to show to the next raw-food enthusiast you encounter:
Antinutrients are found at some level in almost all foods for a variety of reasons. However, their levels are reduced in modern crops, probably as an outcome of the process of domestication. The possibility now exists to eliminate antinutrients entirely using genetic engineering; but, since these compounds may also have beneficial effects, such genetic modifications could make the foods more nutritious but not improve people’s health.
Many traditional methods of food preparation such as fermentation, cooking, and malting increase the nutritive quality of plant foods through reducing certain antinutrients such as phytic acid, polyphenols, and oxalic acid. Such processing methods are widely used in societies where cereals and legumes form a major part of the diet. An important example of such processing is the fermentation of cassava to produce cassava flour: this fermentation reduces the levels of both toxins and antinutrients in the tuber.
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