Allergies and intolerances to grains are wide spread, with wheat being the main culprit. Wheat intolerant individuals can often tolerate wheat products if they have first been soaked, sprouted or fermented. There are also older varieties of wheat such as spelt and kamut that are good first choice substitutes.
Gluten is a protein in grains that is very difficult to digest putting an enormous strain on the digestive system. If this intolerance is ignored over a long period of time, as comes with age or overuse, then allergies and chronic conditions such as candida albicans overgrowth can occur.
The gluten grains are oats, rye, barley and wheat. These grains should be first prepared through soaking or fermentation. Soaking allows enzymes and other compounds to break down the phytic acid, which competes with calcium, copper, magnesium, iron and zinc for absorption. The act of soaking can help produce many enzymes that help boost production of B vitamins (required for energy). Soaking is best done in warm water over 7 hours, rinse thoroughly then cook/use.
Non-gluten grains include buckwheat, rice and millet. These grains are easier to digest and do not require soaking. However rice and milllet are best when cooked gently across 2 hours in a mineral rich gelatinous broth. This releases the low level of phytates present in the grain and help with digestion of the grain. They should not be cooked quickly.
Buy high quality grains from a reputable supplier, like Infinity Foods, Jordans, Duchy Organic.
If you have any digestion issues or would like further information, please get in touch.
Deborah McTaggart is a registered Holistic Nutritionist practising in St Albans, Hertfordshire and London. Please contact me here for more information.