Have you ever heard of phytic acid? No? Most people haven’t. This article will be a brief overview of what phytic acid is and whether it’s good or bad for your health.
What is phytic acid?
Phytic acid is a natural plant antioxidant. It is mostly found in the form of phytates in many of the foods that we eat regularly. Here is a small list of some foods that contain it:
- Pinto Beans
- Brown Rice
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Chia Seeds
Although this definitely not a complete list of the foods that contain phytates, it can give you a good idea what foods it is found in. The foods that typically contain the most phytates are whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
Is phytic acid bad for my health?
Phytic acid and phytates have recently been a hot topic in the health world. They are targeted as antinutrients due to their ability to bind to minerals and making them less bioavailable or unabsorbable, thus potentially causing mineral deficiencies. The minerals that phytates bind to are iron, calcium, magnesium, copper, and zinc.
Many health experts will often preach of phytic acid’s detrimental effects on your body and will advocate removing it from your diet or taking measures to reduce it.
If you do a search on this topic, you’ll find that there are many different opinions on the matter. Some side with the argument that phytates aren’t bad for you and they posses many health benefits, and some say that they’re terrible for your health due to their antinutrient properties and should be avoided at all costs.
The health benefits of phytic acid are often related to preventing cancer, osteoporosis, and inflammatory conditions, while the negative impacts are concerned with poor mineral absorption.
Poor mineral absorption can definitely become a problem for some individuals and cause a bunch of other health related issues, however, for most people following a balanced diet, this shouldn’t be an issue.
So, is phytic acid really all that bad for you? For most people, it’s not really something that you should worry about. Besides, cutting out foods just because they contain phytates is a bad decision as most of the foods contain many other nutrients and health benefits themselves.
I recommend trying your best to stick to a balanced diet and potentially supplement or include foods that are high in the nutrients that are affected by phytates if you are suffering from any deficiencies.