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Soaked, fermented, nixtamalized corn: how bad, really?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 22, 2011 at 9:23 PM

I have some corn flour that has been treated with lime water. This is supposed to break down the kernel and help increase the bioavailability of many of the vitamins, especially B3. If I were to take this flour (also called masa harina) and soak it overnight in filtered water and a tablespoon or two of kefir before cooking it, how bad would it be, really? I'm following the instructions in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I would think that all of the treatment would virtually eliminate any anti-nutrients, but I'm curious to get your opinions.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on November 23, 2011
at 08:47 AM

@Nance -Not to nitpick but what "goes through" is probably just the undigestible cellulose hull and not the starchy contents.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 23, 2011
at 12:33 AM

Pozole is made with hominy which is traditionally prepared in a similar manner. It probably shouldn't be a staple of your diet, but as long as you don't have any negative reactions to corn there is no reason not to have it once in a while, AnnaA.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 23, 2011
at 12:26 AM

I agree with the low nutrition comment. Corn usually goes through me with only minimal changes. There are no negative symptoms, just a lack of digestion and therefore nutrition.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 22, 2011
at 09:25 PM

I'm curious too because it may also apply to pozole, which I am craving right now in Mexico.

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5 Answers

1
35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on March 25, 2012
at 02:02 AM

I'll be honest... personally it does worse things to my gut that gluten. So I avoid it, no matter how traditionally prepared. Then again, I do OK on WAPF style soaked beans which I know messes other people up. Try it and see.

1
Eea6a68f5a7190d13c60e1c72417a581

(1376)

on March 24, 2012
at 10:50 PM

Homemade tortillas (made of organic yellow masa) are a staple in my household and I have been wondering this as well. I've noticed that an increased use of tortillas will slow or stall weight loss for me but that masa does not cause the symptoms that gluten does, nor the insance carb craving that white rice triggers for me.

1
9ffe43c6c5990ed710c7c49b12d6ee7f

on November 24, 2011
at 07:56 AM

I eat Masa Harina quite often - before I tried to shed fat it was once or twice a week. Now more like once a month...

Since it's a flour and not whole food, I only have it when I'm cool with the quick absorption, and even then I have it with fat (pork lard - I make tamales). Other than that though, the nixtamilization is supposed to make the calcium much more bioavailable, which is a plus for me because I don't do bone broth.

1
13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 22, 2011
at 09:36 PM

I came to paleo from a WAPF-style diet, so I don't see any problem with traditionally prepared grains--so long as there is no gluten. However, I wouldn't make them the central part of my diet because even with traditional preparation, they still don't have the kinds of nutrient levels I can get in other foods. In other words, I'd rather fill myself up with vegetables, fruit, meats, and healthy fats over grains. But, as a once in a while thing I don't see any harm.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on November 23, 2011
at 08:47 AM

@Nance -Not to nitpick but what "goes through" is probably just the undigestible cellulose hull and not the starchy contents.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 23, 2011
at 12:26 AM

I agree with the low nutrition comment. Corn usually goes through me with only minimal changes. There are no negative symptoms, just a lack of digestion and therefore nutrition.

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 22, 2011
at 09:29 PM

How bad is it really before you do some convoluted treatment? In my mind, corn flour isn't all that bad. Not something to center one's diet on, but not something that so bad on its own.

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