A list of foods rich in phytate!

Phytic acid foods
Phytic acid in rice.

The richest foods in phytate are whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts. Common foods high in phytate, such oats and rice, can boost the daily intake!

Phytic acid vs Phytate

Phytic acid is the storage form of phosphorus in seeds. The foods that contain high amounts of phytic acid are whole-grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and beans.

Phytate is the compound when phytic acid is bound to a mineral. Phytate is also known as inositol hexaphosphate or IP6.

Phytate: Good or Bad?

In many cases, phytic acid is referred to as anti-nutrient, because it binds to minerals, such zinc, iron and calcium, inhibiting their absorption. Consuming 5-10 mg of phytic acid can reduce iron absorption by 50%. Also, phytic acid can inhibit the digestibility of proteins, carbs, and fats.

On the other hand, phytic acid is a powerful antioxidant that can help in the prevention of many diseases, such as cancer.

The estimated daily phytic acid intake around the world is about (9):

  • 750 mg/day in the US
  • 600–800 mg/day in the UK
  • 393 mg/day among Canadian children
  • 1500 –2,200 mg/day in countries whose diet is based in plants like Nigeria and India.

Plants are the richest foods in phytic acid. Especially whole-grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Phytate is mainly concentrated in the hard outer layer of cereal grain, called bran. The rest grain has lower concentrations of phytate (3). Additionally, the bran is a good source of minerals, such as iron and zinc.

Moreover, the bran and germ contain most of the protein, healthy fats, fiber, minerals and vitamins. Endosperm provides mainly carbs and calories.

The richest foods in phytate

Common foods rich in phytic acid are cereals, legumes, oil seeds, and nuts (3).

Phytic acid
g/100 g (dw)
Cereals
Maize germ6.39
Wheat bran2.1–7.3
Wheat germ1.14–3.91
Rice bran2.56–8.7
Barley0.38–1.16
Sorghum0.57–3.35
Oat0.42–1.16
Rye0.54–1.46
Millet0.18–1.67
Legumes
Kidney beans0.61–2.38
Peas0.22–1.22
Chickpeas0.28–1.60
Lentils0.27–1.51
Oilseeds
Soybeans1.0–2.22
Linseed2.15–3.69
Sesame1.44–5.36
Sunflower3.9–4.3
Nuts
Peanuts0.17–4.47
Almonds0.35–9.42
Walnuts0.20–6.69
Cashew nuts0.19–4.98
The richest common foods in phytate.

Phytic acid in food can vary greatly depending on the variety.

Beans are good sources of phytate

The maximum phytic acid content was measured in soy. It’s about 10.7% of the dry weight (3). Beans and legumes contain phytic acid between 0.28 – 2.38% dw (Dry weight).

We can reduce the amount of phytic acid in beans and legumes by soaking.

Nuts & seeds are high in phytate

Nuts are also high in phytate. Their value can vary greatly from 0.17 to 9.42. For instance, almonds can contain between 0.35-9.42% dw.

The phytic acid content varies from 1.0–5.4% (dry weight) in sesame seeds, sunflower kernels, linseed and rapeseed (3).

Phytate in grains

Rice is the major energy source for more than one-half of the global population (12).

Approximately 90% of the phytate in rice is concentrated in the bran and only about 4–5% in the rice endosperm (13).

Brown rice contains about 3% phytic acid.

Moreover, oats contain moderate amounts of phytic acid. They have between 0.42 – 1.16 g/100g (dw) (3).

You can and seeds and nuts to your oatmeal. They contain high amounts of phytic acid (0.17-9.42%).

Sources:

  1. NCBI – Pubmeb.gov – Phytic acid in health and disease.
  2. NCBI – Pubmeb.gov – Antioxidant functions of phytic acid.
  3. NCBI – PMC – Reduction of phytic acid and enhancement of bioavailable micronutrients in food grains
  4. NCBI – Dietary factors influencing zinc absorption.
  5. NCBI – Zinc Absorption Is Not Related to Dietary Phytate Intake in Infants and Young Children Based on Modeling Combined Data from Multiple Studies
  6. NCBI – PMC – A Mathematical Model of Zinc Absorption in Humans As a Function of Dietary Zinc and Phytate
  7. NCBI – Pubmeb.gov – Zinc bioavailability and homeostasis.
  8. NCBI – PMC – Nutrients, antinutrients & bioaccessible mineral content (invitro) of pearl millet as influenced by milling
  9. NCBI – PMC – Effect of certain indigenous processing methods on the bioactive compounds of ten different wild type legume grains
  10. NCBI – Pubmeb.gov – Evaluation of the content and bioaccessibility of iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium from groats, rice, leguminous grains and nuts.
  11. NCBI – Pubmeb.gov – Effects of fiber, phytic acid, and oxalic acid in the diet on mineral bioavailability.
  12. NCBI – PMC – Manipulating the Phytic Acid Content of Rice Grain Toward Improving Micronutrient Bioavailability
  13. Wiley online library – Rice antioxidants: phenolic acids, flavonoids, anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, tocopherols, tocotrienols, γ‐oryzanol, and phytic acid