Assuming you’re eating the healthiest plant foods, grown in the healthiest soils, that you can find or afford, what else can you do to increase your mineral intake without using pills?
In the first article in this series we discussed the relative nutrition available in supermarket veggies, heirloom veggies from bio-diverse gardens and farms, and edible wild plants.
In the second article, we explored what’s happened to the mineral availability of the plant foods we eat as a result of soil management, and also as a result of our food selection and preparation choices.
In this final article for this series, we’ll explore some ways to maximize our absorption of the minerals that our plant foods offer.
We Need “Outside Help” To Digest Plant Foods
Plant cells have a cell membrane, and then around the outside of that they have a rigid cell wall made out of cellulose and lignin (substances that are particularly hard to digest), which gives plants their structure in the absence of bones to hold them up. We need ways of breaking down this tough cell wall if we are to digest and absorb the nutrients held in plant cells.
Animal cells, in contrast, have a thin, permeable cell membrane which can regulate what comes in and out of the cell but provides nothing in the way of structure[i].
Cooking with heat, fermenting, pickling, or dressing with an oil and vinegar salad dressing are some examples of preparations that break open plant cell walls[ii] and liberate the nutrients they hold.
All these processes cause plants to lose their crunch and change their colour; that’s how you know the cell walls have collapsed.
Think of it as pre-digesting tough plant foods that our digestive systems are not equipped to handle without some outside help.
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