Wheat Nutrition

Wheat Nutrition

field of wheat in Southern SwedenWheat has been grown and used since at least 9,000 BC and use of the wild grain has been dated as far back as 23,000 BC. And although we mostly think of wheat as a Western grain and staple – the Western version of Rice basically, Wheat is also an oriental grain coming from the arc of countries known to scholars as the Fertile crescent. Looking a a map you can see these countries arc from Egypt through Palestine and Israel to Syria, Turkey and Iraq.

Genetically wheat is a complex grain with some types having 2 sets of chromosomes like Einkorn Wheat and others having 4 sets – like Durum and Emmer while others have even 6 sets of chromosomes like Common Wheat and Spelt Wheat.

What this means is that farmers and plant breeders have a rich resource to use to select breeds that for example have a higher yield or a shorter stalk

Wheat Nutrition

Like any whole food wheat has a range of proteins, fats and starches along with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Much of that is lost when the grain is ground and “refined” into a processed and somewhat depleted food – so much so that Governments mandate the partial replacement of some of the nutrients lost in the milling.

That being the case the use of whole grains is advisable on a routine basis with the “white” flours being used only occasionally for particular recipes.

As a protein wheat has around 12 grams per 100 grams and beats other staple foods such as maize/corn, rice and potatoes and comes second only to Soy beans 13 grams per 100 gms.

The precise amount of protein will vary by variety of wheat with Khorasan Wheat coming in at 12 to 18 grams of protein per 100 gm.

Speaking of which…

Khorasan Wheat is also called Oriental Wheat although really all wheat is oriental since it originated in the Near East probably in Turkey.

Kamut is a particular variety of Khorasan wheat and is actually trademarked to protect its integrity and use. It is grown organically and is known as a high energy wheat from its high content of both protein and of valuable fatty acids. It is also rich in the anti-cancer mineral selenium and in manganese and magnesium.

These health properties have not gone unnoticed. One study looked the effects of switching people between using Kamut or standard wheat in pasta, bread etc. Two groups of people were used and they were then switched after 8 weeks. The results were remarkable in the Kamut group – Cholesterol went down for total cholesterol and LDL, blood glucose levels was reduced by 7%. Their anti-oxidant levels improved as did blood markers of inflammation. Added to that, the researchers found increased levels in the blood of magnesium and potassium for the Kamut group. http://is.gd/3BUKVg

 

Einkorn Wheat is an ancient variety of wheat that originated in Turkey and although spread through much of Europe is now a speciality crop mostly used by health conscious folks who find it easier to digest than standard wheat. Like all wheat it has gluten but the form of the gluten seems less problematic and it may be possible for those with wheat allergies to tolerate Einkorn. And while it may be possible for those with heat allergies to tolerate Einkorn and other ancient strains of wheat research evidence so far warns those with Celiac disease to regard them all as hazardous. So Einkron may be the ancient wheat of the Pharaohs but if you are following a Gluten free diet then the best advice is to avoid it!

Emmer Wheat To be continued…(soon)!

Spelt Wheat

AuthorAlex Newell ND

I’m Alex Newell and I am a Physicist who retrained as an Osteopath and Naturopath when my own health began to decline in my 30’s. In fact I kept training and asking questions and began writing books and blogging over the last few years. The purpose of this blog, naturaldetoxblog.com is to help those with an interest in Natural Health Care to improve their health and detox and chelate industrial chemicals out of the brain and body in a safe and effective way. Please feel free to ask questions and contact me