T Nation

Nuts & Phytic Acid?



Are they something to worry about or are they just another example of paying too much attention to shit that doesn't really matter? For instance phytic acid has a strong binding affinity to important minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc but to what extent?

Below is a list of nuts and the phytic acid content of each per 100 gram sample...

Almonds 1,280 mg/100 gram
Cashews 1,866 mg/100 gram
Chestnuts 47 mg/100 gram
Peanuts, toasted 933 mg/100 gram
Jif peanut butter 1,252 mg/100 gram
Black walnuts 1,977 mg/100 gram
English walnuts 760 mg/100 gram

Using almonds as an example: They are a good source of protein, fat, vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, copper, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and phosphorus so they pack a big puncg nutritionally speaking. So the question is, would the nutritional value found in almonds negate the antinutrient profile they possess?

Links & info much appreciated!


I'm curious as well. From what I read up so far, soaking your nuts(yea laugh it up) reduces this anti nutrient.


I think the term 'Anti-Nutrient' sounds so ominous that it could put people off eating healthy food like nuts.

It would be great if someone in the know put all this anti-nutrient business into some perspective!

The last straw for me was reading a paleo article that suggested vegetables from the nightshade family can impact digestion, joint function blah blah, this includes potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant etc. When you consider the amount of anti-nutrients or contaminants in ALL our foods and in our environment you wonder why pay so much attention to things like this, like the really mattered OR do they?


Look up 'Nourishing traditions' by Sally Fallon. She goes into ways to soak things in an acid medium to make them more digestible.

It helped my digestion lots


Cheers' I will, thanks!


Not that I'm particularly in the know, but I think the term anti-nutrient sounds more ominous than it is. It's not so much "anti-" in the sense that it depletes rather than nourishes. I think it's more of a case of making particular nutrients unavailable to the body, so they don't get absorbed. In the case of nuts, I think this applies mostly to minerals. So, you may think you're getting a nice dose of magnesium, copper, and zinc, but you are really getting much less than you think because of the phytates. Still, you do get some of the mineral content, so I think they still qualify as healthy foods.

As for the nightshade family of vegetables, my understanding is that the problems from eating them apply only to people who have a sensitivity/intolerance to nightshades. Not everyone does. In that sense, it's like saying no one should have dairy products because they cause digestive upset in people with lactose intolerance. I think tomatoes and peppers are quite healthy as long as the individual doesn't have a sensitivity. I found through my own experience that the best way to figure out if you are sensitive to a certain food is not eat it for a couple of weeks and then have some and see what happens. I recently found out that wheat does not agree with me. Never would have suspected that before trying this elimination/reintroduction thing.


when i see someone has placed "Snack - nuts" for their diet...i feel bad for them...