Phytate or phytic acid are compounds within plants, which are the plants natural defense mechanism against predators such as animals and insects. When we try to consume phytates, they have a similar effect on our systems and these phytates are considered an anti-nutrient. Phytates will bind to the dietary minerals, especially having an affinity to iron and zinc. This leads to slow mineral absorption or often preventing mineral absorption. This can lead to mineral deficiency when we consume phytates.
Phytates are in grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. We can reduce the amount of phytates in these foods by cooking, soaking or fermenting.