Soaking improves the digestibility of beans, grains and nuts.
Grains and beans contain "enzyme inhibitors which 'block the action of trypsin and other enzymes needed for protein digestion... (These inhibitors) can produce serious gastric distress, reduced protein digestion, and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake..."
In addition, seeds and grains contain phytic acid or phytates. "This organic acid, present in all seeds and grains, blocks the uptake of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and especially zinc. The trypsin inhibitors and the phytates are deactivated with soaking and fermentation, but not as much with cooking..."
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