Antinutrients interfere with the absorption of some aspects at the intestinal level. Although, in principle, they have a negative connotation; in reality, they play an essential role in well-being. Why?
Antinutrients are those compounds that interfere with the absorption of substances at the intestinal level. Its origin can be natural or synthetic. In recent years they have been the focus of research, as they contained in various types of foods and beverages commonly consumed.
It is common to find a lot of elements with this quality in nature. However, this does not mean that they are harmful to the body. What are the most common? What should you know about it? In this space, we detail them.
Also Read: Function of Zinc in the Body and Dietary Sources of Zinc
Main Antinutrients in Food and Beverages
Antinutrients raise doubts among those seeking a healthy diet. However, as an article published by the Harvard University School of Public Health highlights, the benefits of foods containing these substances outweigh their possible adverse effects.
These are types of polyphenols that make it difficult to absorb some proteins or iron. They are found, for example, in grapes, which are rich in resveratrol. They often have a bitter taste. However, despite their chelating power on iron, they contain antioxidant properties that are essential for health.
Its consumption is linked to more excellent prevention of cardiovascular disease, according to an article published in the British Journal of Pharmacology. For this reason, it is crucial to include these substances in the diet.
It is only necessary to ensure a proper intake of iron and vitamin C, by including other foods, so as not to suffer complications related to anemia.
The intake of large amounts of tannins could be a risk factor in the case of vegan populations. By itself, vegetable iron has a lower bioavailability than animal iron. For this reason, it is necessary to monitor the contribution of this mineral in diets devoid of animal products. It is positive to increase the intake of vitamin C in this type of diet, as well as to space the foods rich in vegetable iron from those that contain tannins.
It is found, above all, in seeds, grains, nuts, and certain legumes. Its consumption is related to difficulties in the absorption of zinc, iron, and calcium. Also, it can inhibit some digestive enzymes linked to proteolysis.
Among its positive effects, we highlight that it manages to control the glucose curve and reduce insulin resistance. It could also reduce the risk of developing fatty liver, according to a study published in 2016.
For now, there is still a lack of human trials to provide substantial evidence in this regard, but it is clear that this substance has positive health implications.
This substance found in particular green leafy vegetables. It binds to calcium and can reduce its absorption. Furthermore, it can also interfere with other minerals such as iron or magnesium. As if this were not enough, its excessive intake links to the appearance of kidney stones. However, these are related to a defect in the state of hydration and, possibly, to a particular genetic conditioning factor.
Furthermore, the biodiversity in the gut microbiota can significantly reduce the risk of these types of ailments. Bacteria of the Lactobacillus genus are responsible for preventing stone formation from the degradation of oxalate salts, according to a review published in Microbial Pathogenesis.
An excess in the consumption of fiber could interfere with the absorption of some nutrients from the diet. Ingested in reasonable amounts, it delays the absorption of glucose and partially blocks that of cholesterol. However, to a greater extent, it could interfere with protein absorption.
Now, it is a necessary substance in any diet. In addition to reducing the problems associated with intestinal transit, it improves the management of the satiety mechanism. On the other hand, its consumption is related to the selective growth of the microbiota from the fermentation processes. Cardiovascular risks reduced if the fiber intake in the diet is adequate.
A Varied Diet so as not to Worry About Antinutrients
Antinutrients are substances that can interfere with the absorption of certain compounds at the intestinal level. However, in many cases, they are essential elements for the health of the body. For this reason, its intake should not avoid.
The correct thing is to carry out a varied diet. Thus, the supply of all the nutrients that the body needs to ensure and the possible effect of antinutrients reduce. Also, the food must balance from a caloric point of view.
One strategy to carry this out is to quantify the fiber contribution. In this way, there is an optimal functioning of the satiety mechanism, which will reduce appetite and snacking between meals.