Man, I'm gone a few days, and I miss fabulous posts! Fascinating information. I googled "Older adults cannot digest grains and get the minerals that they need from them," in hopes of finding out more about this, but found nothing helpful on first glance.
Do you have a couple of sources from which to start? I love fresh, whole (then cooked) grains and can't imagine my diet without them. It would be like giving up fresh fruit or crunchy veggies!
We buy sprouted corn and wheat tortillas. I understand that whole foods and freshly sprouted seeds may carry the enzymes we need for digestive ease. Have you heard that too?
We were given so many sources at the training that I am not sure where to direct you. I would encourage you to do a more general search: "nutrition and aging" or "digesting grains." You know...some variations on the theme.
You are right about sprouted grains. They do have more of the enzymes we need to be able to digest them.
Fermenting is also of great benefit. In order to ferment a grain before cooking, you add a bit of apple cider vinegar and let the grains soak over night. This is a method of "pre-digestion," as well as adding enzymes.
I don't think you have to give up grains. If you are eating sprouted or fermented grains and/or adding digestive enzymes or more acid to your supplements, chances are you are getting a lot more from them than if you eat processed grains from the supermarket.
The point the presenter made is that in the food pyramid, the largest portion is grains. If people who cannot digest grains make that the largest portion of their diet, they are set up for malnourishment.
One of the books we use around here is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. If you are not familiar with that book, you might want to check it out. It is a cookbook, as well as a good source of information about making food nutritious.
Let me know if you try any of the methods or recipes.