Archive for the ‘Minerals’ Category

Mineral Absorption

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

A reader commented on Try it Again, Dr. Kim!:

I’m in such a quandry over beans, nuts and grains. I have a grown son who has been reading books/articles/websites about how our bodies are not made to absorb the nutrients from nuts and beans. Grains are the cause of inflammation and such things as ‘leaky gut’. When I shop now, I’m not sure what to buy. … What is the truth about beans, nuts and grains?

Phytates are the main reason for the concerns about mineral absorption in plant foods. Soy tends to be the highest food in phytates and I have a run down of mineral absorption from soy in Soy: What’s the Harm?

As for inflammation and leaky gut, I cannot speak much to that, though I’m not aware of any research on humans that shows grains to cause either of those conditions in people who do not have an allergy to such foods.

Here are two posts I made on whole grains that shows they are generally associated with good health:

Mineral Absorption Question from a Reader

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Should we, as vegans, be concerned about the oxalic and phytic acid content of foods? I personally avoid eating rhubarb, buckwheat and starfruit, and only occasionally eat spinach, but it would be nice to know if my worries about mineral loss were accurate.

I would not worry much about oxalic acid as long as you are getting plenty of calcium and you are not prone to oxalate kidney stones. I think it’s fine to eat spinach every day.

Phytic acid is a more difficult problem for me to answer. My guess is that it doesn’t present that much of a problem for vegans, but I also heard that in the Vegan Health Study, Dr. Michael Klaper found that many vegans were low in trace minerals (I was not able to find anything on it in a quick Internet search just now). It might, therefore, be prudent to take a multivitamin which would most likely overcome any problems caused by phytic acid.