As promised, I'm bringing you more (hopefully) helpful information about whole grain eating. Everything I bring up in this four part series is reflective of the way I bake. I'm not just rewording old wikipedia articles here!
A post or two ago, I introduced the concept of phytates and phytic acid. Today, I'm going to give you a super fast, super simple explanation of why phytates exist.
The super fast, super simple reason: Plants need them.
Now, for a slightly less fast, slightly more complex explanation...read on!
Phytic acid is an enzyme inhibitor - we'll talk more about that soon - it's also an insect inhibitor.
Phytates are also what keeps seeds and such from going to sprout prematurely. When phytic acid is neutralized, wheat berries sprout. Without it, it would be like the plant version of 16 and Pregnant.
Phytates help seeds know when the time is right. (You know, like a guidance counselor or a helpful parent or Dr. Phil.) A seed wouldn't sprout in a drought, right? It would never survive to plant-adulthood and have sprouts of it's own if it did that!
So...that's lesson one: What phytates do in whole grains.
Tune in next time, when you'll hear Cousin Amy say:
"What do phytates do in our bodies???"