Regarding the amount of information on this board about difficulty with grains,
I might have found the missing link and how to tolerate them more effectively.
From the book, Nourishing Traditions, by
Sally Fallon (available at Amazon and other book stores), this is what the author has to say about grains:
"The well meaning advice of many nutritionists to consume whole grains as
our ancestors did and not refined flours and polished rice, is misleading and
often harmful in its consequence; for while our ancestors ate whole grains, they
did NOT consume them as presented in our modern cookbooks in the form of quick-rise breads, granolas and other hastily prepared casseroles and concoctions.
Our ancestors and virtually all preindustrialized peoples SOAKED OR FERMENTED
their grains before making them into porridge, breads, cakes and casseroles.
A quick review of grain recipes from around the world proves the point. In India rice and lentils are fermented for at least two days before they are prepared as idli and dosas; in Africa the natives soak coarsely ground corn
overnight before adding it to soups and stews, and they ferment corn or millet
for several days to produce a sour porridge called ogi; a similiar dish made from oats was traditional among the Welsh; in some Oriental and Latin American
countries rice receives a long fermentation before it is prepared; Ethiopians
make their distinctive injera bread by fermenting a grain called teff for several days; Mexican corn cakes, called pozol are fermented for as long as two
weeks in banana leaves; before the introduction of commercial brewers yeast,
Europeans made slow rise breads from fermented starters; in America pioneers
were famous for their sourdough breads, pancakes and biscuits and in Europe
grains were soaked overnight and for as long as several days in water or soured
milk before they were cooked and served as porridge or gruel.
All grains contain phytic acid (an organic acid in which phosphorus is
bound) in the outer layer or bran. Untreated phytic acid can combine with
calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract
and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in unfermented whole grains
may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. The modern misguided
practice of consuming large amounts of unprocessed bran often improves colon
transit time at first but may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and in the long
term, many other adverse effects. Soaking allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other
helpful organisms to break down and neutralize phytic acid. As little as
seven hours of soaking in warm acidulated water will neutralize a large portion
of phytic acid in grains."
Grains fall into two general categories....those containing gluten are;
oats, rye, barley and especially wheat. These should not be consumed unless they
have been soaked or fermented; buckwheat millet and rice do not contain gluten.
The author suggests that if you want to have oatmeal in the morning, to
soak the oats with the water you're going to cook it in overnight plus
add a few T of yogurt or lemon juice to the mixture. In the morning it will cook
up faster and remove all phytates. Also, she says if you're baking with grains
to mix your batter, add either yogurt or a small amount of lemon juice, let the
mixed batter sit in the refrigerator for 7 hours...then bake or make pancakes,
muffins, cakes, cookies. It will create a fermented, cultured, more easily
Hope this will encourage some of you to give grains another chance. They
are major providers of B vitamins and minerals, fiber and healthy fats....
and maybe the problem you're all having with them is related to the fact that
they haven't been cultured. Since I am eating grains this way, I am digesting
them completely! Maddy