Health

Fear Phytates No More

Oats in bowlPhytate and Phytic acid are naturally occurring substances in many plant foods, such as grains, nuts, seeds and some legumes. There used to be a purely theoretical worry, mostly voiced by some anti-vegetarian dietitians and some proponents of competing diets such as the paleo diet, that these phytates would inhibit the absorption of important minerals, such as zinc and iron and to a lesser extent calcium and magnesium, even though  little if any problems were encountered in practice. Well that worry can finally be laid to rest. Many of you will be aware that we all have “good bacteria” lining our digestive tracts, performing a variety of beneficial functions. Now medical researchers have determined that the good bacteria fostered in the intestines of vegetarians break down virtually 100% of the phytates consumed in a plant based diet. And, while the concern over phytates was always in question, the beneficial advantages of consuming plenty of grains, legumes, and a handful of nuts now and again, are not.

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About Vegetarians of Washington

Vegetarians of Washington is a large non-profit vegetarian society based in Seattle, WA. We encourage people to discover the advantages and experience the pleasures of vegetarian food. We welcome everyone, whether you're an experienced vegetarian, a beginner or just curious. You don't have to be a vegetarian to join our organization, or to follow our blog! We run the largest vegetarian food festival in the country, Seattle's Vegfest, held in the Seattle Center in March each year. We also host monthly dining events and give free nutrition and cooking classes. We've written several nationally published books, including our latest book "In Pursuit of Great Food: A Plant-based shopping guide", which provides valuable information on what to buy and how to choose great food. Our other books include "Say No to Meat" which gives the information and real-world advice that new vegetarians need the most, in an easy question-and-answer style, the fact-filled "The Vegetarian Solution", and a wide range of delicious recipes in "The Veg-Feasting Cookbook". All our books are available in local bookstores, and via our website or Amazon.com.

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