Is Quinoa Paleo network primal diet grain psuedo ancient-min

Is Quinoa Paleo?

So we know that grains aren't Paleo, but what about the pseudo grains such as quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) chia seeds and buckwheat? Are they considered acceptable for a paleo diet? The answer is no, and here’s the reason why…

Pseudo grains are actually seeds, not grains, but are loaded with anti nutrients and carb heavy. If it looks and acts like a grain – it’s a grain! Quinoa seems to be a really fashionable “health food” at the moment – but do you really need it?

Just like other grains, quinoa contains anti nutrients like phytic acid, lectins and saponins – substances not tolerated well – and not good for gut health and permeability. Phytic acid binds to minerals preventing you from absorbing them – it can even leach minerals from your body for this purpose. Lectins and saponins are culperates in gut permeability which can lead to leaky gut.

Whilst properly preparing grains by soaking and sprouting can help to minimise the amounts of anti nutrients in the grains, it won’t get rid of them entirely.

Is Quinoa Paleo network primal diet grain psuedo ancient-min

Quinoa is popular because it’s high in protein, yet many paleo foods such as grass-fed meat and leafy green vegetables are actually far better sources of protein.

Before you can eat grains like quinoa, a lot of processes need to happen – which is why it is a “modern” food. Pseudo grains need to be ground, separated, roasted and rinsed. Would you do all that work yourself just to add in a small about of quinoa to you lunch?

Whilst some people may tolerate properly prepared grains,if you are in any doubt, it’s surely best to avoid them altogether. There are so many paleo friendly alternatives, such as cauliflower rice, zuchinni noodles or spaghetti squash.

Do you avoid all grains, or do you eat some in moderation? How do you prepare them? I’d love to hear what you think about pseudo grains like quinoa, in the comments below.

What's wrong with soy legume paleo diet primal allowed alternative-min

What’s So Wrong With Soy?

Are soy beans really that bad for us? So many “healthy” people swear by soy – and it’s certainly portrayed in a lot of mainstream media as a health product.

Soy beans contain a lot of natural toxins. It doesn't matter whether they’re organically grown or genetically modified. The problem with modern soy products is that the factory processing is different from the traditional, time-consuming preparation through fermentation and prolonged boiling, whereby a lot of these toxins are removed. Products such as tempeh, tofu and miso are, if of good quality and a lot less dangerous than modern unfermented soy products, like soy milk. In the current, fast and large-scale production, these toxins stay in the end-product.

What's wrong with soy legume paleo diet primal allowed alternative-min

Why do people eat soy?

Whilst some people switch due to cow milk allergies or lactose-intolerance, many people switch for the perceived health benefits. The use of soy milk was supposed to be a good alternative to dairy, if we believe the commercials. The irony is that soy itself is in the top ten of foods that give the highest change of allergies!

Vegetarians and vegans often use soy products as dairy products and meat substitutes, particularly due to the high protein content.

The dangers of soy

Soy contains high amounts of phytic acid, that impedes the reception of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Although the pro-soy lobby argues that these minerals can also be found in soy, they are barely absorbed by the body due to the phytic acid content. The anti-nutrients present are not broken down by processes such as steeping, germination or prolonged cooking.

Soy also contains high concentrations of manganese, a chemical element. Some manganese in our food is necessary, but high amounts, such can be found in soy, are associated with neurological damage. It contains almost 200 times as much manganese as breast milk.

Trypsin inhibitors can disrupt the digestion of protein, can negatively influence the function of the pancreas and cause growth problems. Diarrhoea, stomach cramps and bleeding are some of the problems that can occur due to a lack of trypsin.

Vegetable female hormones (phytoestrogens) in soy disrupt the function of the endocrine (internal) glands and might cause infertility and breast cancer.

Cancer patients, especially the ones with hormone-dependant tumours such as breast cancer and prostate cancer, are advised to avoid soy because it can cause the growth of tumours.  The phytoestrogens it contains can hinder the function of the thyroid, which causes a risk for a slow working thyroid and even thyroid cancer.

Substances in soy that resemble vitamin B12 are not absorbed by the body and increase the need for vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is necessary for the production of red blood cells. A shortage of these blood cells can cause severe anemia. Soy increases the need for vitamin D, which is used for building bones and a strong immune system, and something most people are already deficient in.

In modern soy production, it is modified, which produces toxic lysinoalanine and the carcinogen nitrosamine as a result. During the process, glutamic acid is also formed. This is a flavour enhancer and potential neurotoxin. As if this wasn't bad enough, MSG (another flavour enhancer) is added to many soy products.

Soy sauce is popular in many recipes, but is easy to avoid – it can be completely replaced using paleo friendly coconut aminos.

I’d be interested to hear what you think about Soy? Do you avoid it in all forms, or do you occasionally eat fermented soy products?

Paleo Diet Recipe Primal Sautéed Vine Tomatoes and French Beans-min

Recipe: Sautéed Vine Tomatoes and French Beans

So, whilst green beans and French beans are technically legumes, they are more pod than bean and contain less phytic acid and lectins than other legumes. So on that basis, if they're local, fresh and in season, many people choose to enjoy them on a Paleo diet. What do you think about beans?

This is a wonderfully summery side dish, the crunch of the French beans works wonderfully with the juicy, full bodied tomato.

Sautéed Vine Tomatoes and French Beans Ingredients:

  • 500g French beans, tails removed
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 large vine tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Sautéed Vine Tomatoes and French Beans How To:

1)     Boil some water in a pan, then add the French beans and simmer for two minutes. Drain, then rinse the beans under cold water.

2)     Heat a little olive oil in a non stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the finely chopped shallots and garlic, and sauté for 2 minutes until slightly softened and golden. Add the French beans to the pan, coating well with the existing contents. Sauté for a further minute or so to heat through.

3)     30 seconds or so before you are due to serve, add the chopped tomatoes so as just to heat them through but not damage the texture. Season with the salt, pepper and parsley, then serve.

Paleo Diet Recipe Primal Sautéed Vine Tomatoes and French Beans-min

Phytic Acid & The Paleo Diet nuts soaking-min

Phytic Acid & The Paleo Diet

There are many benefits to adhering to the Paleo diet as a means of getting rid of body fat and helping to reduce the likelihood of a number of illnesses. One of the benefits of the Paleo diet is that it can help to reduce phytic acid intake. It obliterates foods which are full of phytic acid in favour of those which contain low levels such as fruits and vegetables.

Phytic acid is highly obstructive as it has the ability to stop essential minerals from being absorbed. These minerals include magnesium, iron and calcium, which are important as part of any healthy diet. Phytic acid binds itself to these minerals and as our bodies can’t break them down, it can result in a number of health issues. There are many people who consume high levels of cereal, as they believe that this is beneficial to the health but in fact these are one of the main culprits of phytic acid. As a result, they can actually prove to be quite damaging to the health. As our ancestors substituted cereals for other healthy foods such as vegetables and fruits, it was a much healthier way of living which is why the Paleo diet is the best one to follow.

The health issues which can result from a diet which is high in phytic acid include PMS, stomach cramps and skin problems, which can be very detrimental for our quality of life. There are many people who also suffer from anaemia, which is caused by iron deficiency and it is believed that this could be caused through a high phytic acid diet. The Paleo diet promotes an eating plan which minimises the intake of foods which contain phytic acid, in order to promote a healthier lifestyle.

The right diet is the most important way of maintaining good health and more often than not, most of us will reach for the painkillers when we feel unwell, rather than getting to the root cause of the problem.   There are certain foods which are extremely high in phytic acid and these are best to completely stay clear of when following the Paleo diet. The most common of these are grains and legumes. These foods can be replaced with fruits, vegetables and nuts and seeds, which are full of minerals and antioxidants.

Phytic Acid & The Paleo Diet nuts soaking-min

Nuts and seeds are quite high offenders when it comes to levels of phytic acid but you can minimise these by soaking them in purified water. Nuts are full of health benefits, but should only be eaten in moderation; otherwise they will be counter productive.  As far back as our ancestors, people were soaking their nuts and seeds and as the reason behind the Paleo diet is to go back to our roots, it is a ritual we should bear in mind when trying to reduce our intake of phytic acid. The best way to achieve this is to soak the nuts in purified water, cover them and add sea salt. You should then give them a rinse and drain them, before putting them in the oven at the lowest possible temperature. It may seem like a bit of a lengthy process, but the benefits to help are worth taking these steps.

In order to really get the balance between the right nutrients and lowering levels of phytic acid, it is worth educating ourselves on the content of our foods so we are more aware of whether or not they will be detrimental to our health. There are plenty of nutritious foods to eat as part of the Paleo diet, which will result in noticeable changes to your health and fitness levels. Good combinations of the right foods, together with an exercise plan will not only improve your appearance, but will also help you to enjoy a longer and more fulfilling lifestyle.

If you find any of the foods on the Paleo diet are bland, you can always season them with apple cider vinegar as this is a tasty substitute to high calorie mayonnaise and it offers lots of health benefits. It can take a while to get used to following the diet, but it can be really beneficial to the body and appearance. It will soon become a way of life and reducing phytic acid levels is just one of the many benefits of following this simple but effective diet.