If you’ve been doing your homework (as you should when it comes to your health), you may have come across information about so-called “anti-nutrients” found in almonds and other nuts. If you’re wondering what that means for your health, this article should provide some clarification on the matter.
Anti-Nutrients in Almond Flour and Nuts (And The Easy Ways to Reduce Them!)
Anti-nutrients are compounds found in certain foods that actually reduce your body’s absorption of nutrients.
The common anti-nutrient present in grains, legumes and nuts is called phytic acid (also known as phytates). Phytic acid has a unique molecular structure that chelates – or grabs onto – minerals (especially iron and zinc). Once phytic acid is bound to these minerals, they become unavailable for use by the body. Certain anti-nutrients also function as “enzyme inhibitors.” These compounds reduce the enzymes we need for proper digestion – including pepsin, amylase and trypsin.
Reducing important minerals in the diet and hampering digestion are not good things when it comes to your health.
But the first thing to consider when it comes to nuts is this: What is the total amount of nuts in our diet… and how does that relate to the typical amount consumed by our ancestors? In other words: Are nuts an occasional snack – a handful or so per day – or are you crunching away by the cupful? Next, if you do enjoy eating nuts, how can you reduce their phytic acid content prior to consumption?
The good news is that you can greatly reduce the phytic acid content of nuts by soaking and dehydrating them before eating. Simply add raw nuts to a bowl and cover with filtered water. Let them soak for about 12 hours, then drain and rinse. Then dehydrate or toast the nuts for a short while at low temperature.
If you use nuts in baking (almond flour, for example), you can eliminate the concerns about anti-nutrients by choosing flour that is “blanched”. Because almost all of the phytic acid is found in the brown skin of almonds, blanched almond flour is naturally very low in anti-nutrients, because the skin is removed after blanching.
Last but not least, it’s important to note that there are some potential health benefits to small to moderate amounts of phytic acid in the diet – including preventing cancer and reducing kidney stones. So you needn’t worry about consuming small, occasional amounts of this compound.
So How Much Almond Flour is In Wellness Bakeries Products?
Here at Wellness Bakeries we take great pride in crafting wholesome, delicious products that are beneficial to your health. We very carefully consider the origin of ALL of our ingredients, how they are grown and processed, and how the finished products will impact blood sugar levels, nutrient status and fatty acid balance.
That said, you might wonder how Wellness Bakeries products rank in terms of nut consumption and the optimal fatty acid balance we’re all trying to achieve.
First of all, we only use blanched almond flour in our products. And while almond flour is the primary ingredient in most of our products, a single serving of any of our baked goods (on average) contains the equivalent of approximately 6 almonds!
Take a look at the nut equivalent of each of our products containing almond flour:
- 1 Chocolate Bliss Cupcake: One-sixth of an ounce of almonds (4 almonds)
- 1 Carrot Cake Cupcake: Half an ounce of almonds (12 almonds)
- 1 Spice Cake Cupcake: Half an ounce of almonds (12 almonds)
- 1 Vanilla Bean Dream Cupcake: One-quarter ounce of almonds (6 almonds)
- 1 Sugar Cookie: One-fifth of an ounce of almonds (5 almonds)
- 1 Ginger Spice Cookie: One-fifth of an ounce of almonds (5 almonds)
- 1 Chocolate Chip Cookie: One-fifth of an ounce of almonds (5 almonds)
- 1 Slice Better Bread: One-fifth of an ounce of almonds (5 almonds)
As you can see, one serving of our products equates to about a quarter ounce of almonds (on average). That means you can enjoy Wellness Bakeries products as often as you’d like, while still keeping your healthy nut consumption in a healthy range.
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