Spelt, an ancient cereal grain, is a distant cousin to wheat. It has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor.
1) Spelt (triticum spelta) is a lesser known grain than its modern cousin common wheat (triticum aestivum) Spelt has significant health benefits and many people who switch to spelt based products rather than wheat based products notice improvement in their health.
2) Spelt is fast gaining popularity as a health food because it contains a broad spectrum of nutrients, including complex carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more. Spelt is high in vitamin B2, niacin, manganese, thiamin, copper, and magnesium. Because spelt is highly water soluble, these nutrients are easily absorbed by the body. In addition to being loaded with essential nutrients, Spelt is a good source of dietary fiber, which has been shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol levels. And it tastes great, too!
Anyone who cares about good nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight should consider spelt as an alternative to common wheat.
Spelt contains special carbohydrates – called Mucopolysaccharides. Mucopolysaccharides possess anti-inflammatory properties and contribute to longevity by supporting our bones, joints, and cartilage.
Spelt has kept many of its original characteristics which provide an impressive nutritional profile, along with ease of digestibility leading to anti-inflammatory qualities.
Spelt features a host of different nutrients. It is an excellent source of vitamin B2, a very good source of manganese, and a good source of niacin, thiamin, and copper. This particular combination of nutrients provided by spelt may make it a particularly helpful food for persons with migraine headache, atherosclerosis, or diabetes.”
Because spelt has gluten, it is not appropriate for people with celiac.
Further, as an ancient grain, spelt has retained its hard outer hull, which protects the inner grain from pests and the elements. Common wheat (modern wheat) no longer has a hull so it is easier to harvest, but without that hull, the grain needs to protect itself from insects. Modern wheat has an enzyme inhibitor to fight off those pests. Enzymes are what we use to digest foods. Spelt, by its nature, does not need enzyme inhibitors.
High in Niacin (Spelt)
Spelt flour provides approximately 5.5 mg of niacin or vitamin B3 per 100-g serving, 5 percent more niacin than hard winter wheat flour, according to an article published in 2008 in the journal “Acta Scientiarum Polonorum.” The recommended daily value for niacin is 20 mg. A 100-g serving of spelt flour meets 27.5 percent of the daily value for this nutrient. Like other B-vitamins, niacin aids in energy metabolism. It also has additional functions in the human body, such as helping to make sex and stress hormones in the adrenal glands. Niacin is also needed to improve circulation and reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.
Athersclerosis and Cardiovascular
Atherosclerosis is the hardening of your arteries caused by high levels of bad cholesterol which also contributes to cardiovascular disease. Niacin can reduce your total cholesterol levels. Eating spelt can increase your Niacin intake. Niacin can also help reduce formation of blood clots. Eating two ounces of spelt can supply 24% of your daily value (DV) for Niacin. Also, the fiber found in spelt can reduce your total and your LDL cholesterol levels. Eating whole grains, not refined grains, such as spelt at least 6 times each week is a great idea for postmenopausal women with high cholesterol, high blood pressure or other sings of cardiovascular disease. Eating spelt showed signs of slowed progression of atherosclerosis.
Study shows that eating foods high in insoluble fiber, such as *spelt, can help women avoid gallstones. How do foods rich in insoluble fiber help prevent gallstones? Researchers think insoluble fiber not only speeds how quickly food moves through the intestines, but reduces the secretion of bile acids, which in excessive amounts contribute to gallstone formation. The insoluble fiber also increases insulin sensitivity and lowers triglycerides (blood fats).
Fiber supplied by whole grains offered the most protection from breast cancer. Pre-menopausal women eating the most whole grain fiber (at least 13 g/day) had a 41% reduced risk of breast cancer, compared to those with the lowest whole grain fiber intake (4 g or less per day).
If you have a wheat or gluten allergy. I recommend that you consult your doctor regarding which specific grains you should avoid. Most gluten testing is done with wheat gluten; therefore you know that you are certainly allergic to wheat. General testing for allergic reactions to food groups (like wheat) can identify problem areas but more specific tests may allow you to enjoy foods that you otherwise might rule out (like *spelt).
Although simple sugars and carbohydrates are known to be dangerous for diabetics, the high fiber content in *spelt can counteract those effects and help to regulate the release and breakdown of those simple sugars into glucose. By regulating the release of insulin and glucose in the body, it helps to manage diabetes for those who already suffer from the condition, or prevent more people from developing it.
*Spelt and other whole grains are a rich source of magnesium. Magnesium has been shown to lower your risk of type II Diabetes. Whole grains offer special benefits in promoting healthy blood sugar control.
Niacin is one of the essential vitamins that can be found in significant quantities in *spelt. Niacin plays a key role in the adrenal glands in the body, particularly in the production of sex hormones. The endocrine system is a sensitive and hugely important aspect of our health and general functioning. So maintaining healthy niacin levels by adding *spelt to your diet is a wise choice.