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March 2011 Issue

Antinutrients Found Naturally in Plant Foods Exposed

Antinutrients may sound like a new nutrition buzz word, but scientists have been aware of these chemically active plant substances for decades. Found in a variety of edible plants, antinutrients act to reduce the nutrient availability of a food or provide some sort of adverse effect. For example, some antinutrients bind nutrients, thereby limiting digestion and use by the body, while other antinutrients are toxic at high levels. Antinutrients are a normal part of the plant structure, often found in leaves, roots and seeds of the plant, and scientists believe that their presence helps ensure the survival of the plant species.

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