Anti-nutrient loa

May 17, 2020 by No Comments

What are antinutrients?

antinutrients are present within the composition of certain foods. In general terms, they are part of the defense mechanism of certain plants, such as cereals etc. to fight against parasites, insects etc. For them, they are beneficial, but what about the people we consume in our meals?

The answer is no. In humans they do not have the same benefits. antinutrients interfere with our body’s ability to absorb or digest vitamins and minerals. It is necessary to clarify that, as in everything, it will depend on the ingested dose of these foods so that they have really significant effects.

What types of antinutrients can we find? The most relevant.


They are phosphorus storage compounds that are Present in mainly whole grains, as well as seeds, grains, legumes and nuts. They are part of the bran of certain grains. It is one of the fiber components of these foods.

Its effects:

  • They can reduce the absorption of iron from plant origin.
  • They decrease the availability of calcium and, to a certain extent, affect the absorption of magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and copper.
  • They inhibit digestive enzymes such as Amylase and pepsin , necessary to digest carbohydrates and proteins.
  • Not everything is negative. They can improve glucose response and prevent disease.


saponins can be found mainly in legumes and pseudo-cereals, such as soybeans and chickpeas .

The main problem that this antinutrient can carry out is to generate intestinal inflammation problems, inhibit the absorption of iron, increase the risk of suffering diseases related to the immune system. They also hinder the absorption of proteins.


They are present in legumes, cocoa, beets, nuts and green leafy vegetables, such as spinach.

Its effects:

  • They prevent the correct assimilation of minerals such as calcium and iron.
  • They form crystals of acid oxalic that can create kidney stones.
  • They can also interfere with the absorption of magnesium.


Tannins are present in l green tea, in fruits such as grapes, although in lower amounts and legumes.

Its effects:

  • They reduce the availability of iron and certain proteins . They hinder its absorption and digestion.
  • Not only do you have negative effects, in this case the positive effects are also greater: such as the great antioxidant power they have, which protects cells from free radicals, improves levels of glucose in the blood and can prevent certain cardiovascular diseases.


The lectins are glycoproteins that we can find in foods such as rice, wheat, barley and corn, that is, in legumes and grains. (Recommended for athletes ) When they are ingested, in the small intestine they bind to the villi and create a coating that results in the absorption of nutrients and possible alterations in the microbiota.

Its effects:

  • May lead to increased risk of auto immune diseases.
  • Damage red blood cells.
  • Possible weight loss.
  • May cause vomiting, pain abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Although these are the main ones, we can find many more. Remember that for this reason you should not stop consuming the aforementioned foods since the benefits they provide are greater and fundamental to lead a healthy and balanced life.

Do they suppose a risk? How to reduce its effects?

antinutrients are naturally part of the foods that we consume very frequently in our diet. There is no need to be afraid of them as they do not pose such a high risk since they are not usually consumed in such excessive amounts as for the effect to be relevant.

Despite this, as long as a diet is followed variable and healthy, as well as being prepared in a certain way, the effects can be further diminished and take advantage of the other positive properties and benefits that these foods have.

To reduce the effect of the antinutrients present in legumes, we must leave them before cooking, soaked in water for an average of 12 hours, and once we are cooking them, eliminate the foam that is produced. , the saponins are weakened.

In seeds , such as sesame for example, change it is advisable to leave them to soak and then toast them for a few minutes.

With the rice we proceed as follows with the legumes, leaving it in re I mojo for an average of 12 hours and then throwing away the water in which it has been.

Cooking this type of food at high temperatures, that is, more than 100ยบ for an average of at least 10 minutes can make it remove lectins.

In the case of eggs: always cook them, even if they are only whites. Inactivates avidin.

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