Nutrients are like superheroes, flying into the body–the bloodstream, muscles, and organs–to make proper, efficient function possible. Without them, the body would break down and give out. Antinutrients are almost the opposite of nutrients. While they do not fly in and deter body functions, they do block the nutrients from being absorbed into the body. They block the superheroes from reaching the cities in need by blocking every exit, giving the heroes no option but to pass straight through. More formally, they are referred to as naturally and synthetically occurring compounds that block the absorption of nutrients mainly through inhibition and binding. The following are examples of how antinutrients work:
Inhibition: Antinutrients that act as inhibitors block the body from absorbing nutrients. These inhibitors can be nutrient specific or block absorption in general.
Protease Inhibitors: Protease enzymes begin the process of protein digestion. Certain drugs, such as Prezista, Aptivus, and Lexiva, belong to a drug group called antiretrovirals, used mainly for HIV and cancer treatment, are protease inhibitors. In such cases, they are used to prevent infection that can occur in the process of protein absorption.
Lipase Inhibitors: Lipase is an intestinal enzyme that enables the body to absorb fat. Lipase inhibitors, often used in weight loss supplements, prevents the production of the enzyme, and the direct passing through of fat, and forces the body to obtain energy from previously digested and stored fat sources.
Binding: The body is used to recognizing and absorbing certain compound types that make up nutrients. Some antinutrients prevent the body from recognizing, or effectively absorbing, nutrients by binding with them. Such a process renders the nutrient unrecognizable or indigestable to absorption.
Phytic Acid: Minerals are important to the body for a variety of reasons including: blood composition, bone formation and repair, and the growth and repair of certain muscles. Phytic Acid prevents the body from absorbing minerals by binding to them, creating a new, unrecognizable compound. This acid occurs naturally in foods such as grains, beans, soy and other legumes.
Oxalic Acid: Calcium is also essential to bone and tissue health. Oxalic Acid binds to calcium and is found naturally in a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and legumes. It is not harmful if consumed in moderate amounts.
Antinutrient intake should certainly be monitored and, in most cases, decreased. The strategy for lowering intake should certainly not involve eating less fruits and vegetables. In fact, the most effective way to increase nutrient absorption is through healthful cooking habits. Water-based cooking is always the best. Boiling, steaming, and blanching are very useful methods. Rinsing fruits and vegetables before and after cooking is also an excellent practice. Cooking can cause excretion of antinutrients, and the cook can have the pleasure of rinsing the bad guys down the drain where they belong!
The diets provided with Medical Meals are based off a Paleo diet prescription, which, in turn, dictates the lowest antinutrient content of any diet.