Mamahood & Me

Antioxidants & Anti-nutrients

Antioxidants and Anti nutrients 

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Antioxidants 

Protecting your reproductive organs is of utmost importance when trying for a baby. This list provides the most potent antioxidants and which foods to source them from; try to include a selection of these every day in your diet.

Selenium

Sesame seeds, tuna, cabbage, brazil nuts, wholegrains

Zinc

Eggs, nuts, dark leafy greens, organic lamb

Phytonutrients

All fruit and vegetables - try top include all colours

Vitamin A 

Apricots, butternut squash, sweet potato, carrot

Vitamin C 

Green vegetables, tomatoes, citrus fruits, kiwi

Vitamin E

Avocados, oily fish, seeds, beans

Anti nutrients 

These nasty little blighters are defined as natural or synthetic compounds which interfere with the absorption of nutrients.

Refined foods, alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine and recreational drugs are all examples of anti nutrients. Essentially they contain no benefical nutrition themselves AND they deplete vital nutrients as they are processed by the body. A double whammy. 

These anti nutrients can directly affect fertility, and once pregnant directly affect the health of a baby so should be avoided at all costs. Anti nutrients may not be noticeable in an adult, but may have serious effects on a growing foetus. 

Pesticidesherbicides, heavy metalspreservatives and additives are a serious problem. We cannot prevent our exposure to all of these as some are in the air we breath, but we can help by eating organic foods, drinking filtered water, and eating fresh rather than processed foods. 

There are also some natural anti nutrients present in nuts, grains, beans and legumes. However, they DO contain beneficial nutrients and so we can still include these in our diet, as long as we don't eat them at every meal. It is thought that plants have these anti nutrients within them to help them germinate at the correct time, and in order to protect themselves from predators - clever! 

How to reduce anti nutrient content in nuts and seeds 

The main anti nutrient in nuts and seeds is Phytic acid, we need some of this in our body, but too much and it will bind to minerals and block their absorption. To help reduce the Phytic acid content in our organic nuts and seeds we can soak them, here's how... 

You will need; 

2 cups raw organic nuts/seeds

1 tbsp of salt (try to use Himalayan pink salt if you can as it has a much higher nutrient content rather than just sodium in table salt) 

Enough filtered warm water to cover the seeds

Pour the warm water into a bowl and dissolve the salt into it 

Add the nuts/seeds, and make sure the water is completely covering them 

Leave uncovered for around 7 hours in a warm place (not the fridge)

After this time remove, drain, pop on a baking sheet and cook in the oven at around 65c for approximately 24 hours. If you have a dehydrator that will also do the job perfectly! 

The seeds/ nuts must be completely dry at the end fo this process to prevent them from going mouldy. 

p.s Chia and flax seeds do not soak well as they turn into a gel like substance. However, they are great in healthy bakes, your morning porridge, or as an egg substitute in recipes.