I thought I was eating healthy but I got a rude awakening when I read “Cure tooth decay” by Ramiel Nagel. I read about the proper way of cooking grains sometime back but this book gives a comprehensive list of dos and don’ts. The first rule is improperly cooked whole grains are bad for health. This is because grains and beans have anti-nutrients which bind to the nutrients in our food not letting the food serve our body. So, our body taps into the store of minerals and vitamins in our teeth. This is what causes tooth cavities. Remember that cavities are not because of bacteria but because of anti-nutrients in your not properly prepared food. This is how I got a tooth cavity and I working on curing it naturally by correcting my food. That’s what I want to share in this blog.
The anti-nutrient causing the most harm is phytic acid. It can be removed if the grain contains enough phytase enzyme. To remove it, the grain must be soaked in water. Let us look at grains one by one:
- Brown rice is rich in nutrients but is also high in phytic acid and low in phytase ( an enzyme that digests phytic acid). If you soak brown rice overnight, you can remove 50% of the phytic acid. Save about 10% of the water used to soak the rice and place it in the fridge. Next time use this starter liquid to remove more phytic acid. If you do this everytime, you can eventually remove 99% of phytic acid. If you don’t have the patience to do this, you are better off eating white rice. For this reason, avoid health bars or any “heath food” that contains brown rice.
- Best to avoid oats and quinoa. Both of them require tedious preparation methods to make them safe. I have read in some books that you can use quinoa after soaking it with lemon water and kombu seaweed for at least 20mins. Dr. Nagel outlines a more detailed method to make it safe. Besides us consuming quinoa is making the Andes natives forgo their natural food.
- Beans are high in phytic acid and lectins. To completely eliminate phytates, beans need to be soaked overnight in warm water and sprouted for several days and soured. Soaking overnight and then cooking the next day eliminates a good portion of phytic acid in smaller beans like lentils. For this reason, the best way to intake lentils is to make idlis or dosas. I soak lentils overnight before making lentil soups.
- Avoid popcorn. This was my favorite. I was practically hooked to it. I used to buy organic corn and pop them in a kettle and masala it up. Now, I restrict consumption to movie nights.
- Millets are great! They are rich in protein, less expensive compared to quinoa and are drought-resistant. Farmers can grow millet using very little water. However, they contain very little phytase. Soak it overnight with little soak starter or lemon water or yogurt.
- Avoid whole grain breads and sprouted grain bread. Fermented unbleached flour sourdough bread is best. I have been experimenting with making sourdough bread from unbleached unenriched flour. The reason to avoid whole grains is that the husk/bran contains antinutrients. Commercially made whole grain sourdough might not have phytates but their process does not neutralize all other grain toxins like lectins.
I have returned back to basics. I use brown rice but I use it carefully by soaking it overnight with a starter. I have limited popcorn consumption, avoid oats and quinoa. I have stopped buying bread and have been making my own at home. Haven’t found a safe replacement for pasta. I also switch the grains on alternate days to reduce the risk of developing intolerance to a particular grain. After making many of these changes and doing oil pulling, my tooth is re-mineralizing. With this blog, I just want you to understand that food is medicine.