|Food Facts: Spelt
Spelt contains gluten. Although it is derived from the wheat genus, spelt is suitable for some people with a wheat intolerance.
• Spelt (triticum spelta) is a delicious, ancient grain introduced from the Middle East about 9,000 years ago. It is a hybrid of Emmer Wheat (triticum dicoccoides) and Goat Grass (Aegilops geniculata) and has a distinctive, nutty flavor.
• The key difference between spelt and wheat is the molecular structure of the protein in the gluten, which is shorter and more brittle and therefore easier for the body to break down and digest. This is why many people who suffer with a wheat intolerance can digest spelt without difficulty. In fact, many who think that they have a gluten intolerance may actually have a wheat-specific intolerance.
• Spelt has a rich protein count of between 12 – 14g per 100g, which is about 20% of the standard RDA. Protein is essential for body maintenance and muscle growth.
• The Romans called spelt their ‘Marching Grain’ because of its high energy content.
• Whole grain spelt flour is thought to have a low Glycaemic Index, which means that the sugars are released slowly and evenly into the bloodstream. It is said that eating foods with a low GI is the key to sustainable weight loss as they leave you feeling fuller for longer.
• Spelt grains have a high level of complex B vitamins and iron.
• Spelt is an excellent source of Riboflavin - two ounces of Spelt flour will provide over 100% RDA of Riboflavin - it is one of the most important foods for many migraine sufferers.
• Spelt flour is a good source of Niacin, which can help to reduce total cholesterol and lipoprotein levels.
• The high levels of fiber in spelt whole grain is believed to help reduce cholesterol levels and help to combat Diabetes. Spelt is a good source of Zinc, which is also important in controlling blood sugar levels.
• Spelt contains special carbohydrates called ‘mucopolysachavides’; their carbohydrates are credited with strengthening body tissues and stimulating the body’s immune system, helping to increase its resistance to infection.
Always consult your doctor for advice if you have a food intolerance before trying new foods.