What is Freekeh and what are its health benefits?
Freekeh is the latest super grain that is taking the health world by storm, but what exactly is it, and can it do you any good? Freekeh (pronounced free-kah) is wheat that has been harvested before it usually would be, when it is still green and young. The grains are then roasted and the chaff rubbed off. Because the insides of the grain are still moist when the roasting takes place, they come out of the process being chewy and with a smoky, nutty flavour. Freekeh has been eaten in the Middle East for centuries and it is packed with goodness. It is, however, still wheat, so it does contain gluten. If you have been wondering what all the fuss has been about, here are ten of the health benefits of Freekeh.
1. It can help you lose weight
Freekeh is a very satisfying food that is full of fibre and protein. Research has proven that people who eat high fibre diets are far less likely to put on weight, because whole grain foods, like Freekeh, leave you feeling full up for longer.
2. It works as a probiotic
Freekeh can help your digestive system stay in good wring order by increasing the healthy bacteria in your stomach. If you eat freekeh as well as natural yoghurts that are rich in probiotics, the grain will help the good bacteria in your digestive system multiply and survive.
3. It is good for your eyes
Freekeh conations two antioxidants that are known to useful in preventing age related macular degeneration. The sift grain is a good source of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which have been proven to have a positive association worth eye health.
4. It can be a good food for diabetics
Freekeh also has a low glycaemic index and, like other whole grain foods, the complex carbohydrates that it contains are broken down in the body slowly, so it does not cause a blood sugar level spike. That makes it a good food to eat for people who have diabetes, as it may help to control the condition.
5. It is a good source of protein for vegans and vegetarians
If you compare Freekeh with brown rice, it has three times the amount of protein and double the fibre. Freekeh, then, is a great food to add to your diet if you are vegan or vegetarian, because it will provide you with a superb source of non-animal protein.
6. It provides you with a good source of slow-release energy
The way that the complex carbohydrates that are found in Freekeh are broken down slowly in the body means that it will provide you with a source of energy that will last you for a long time. Unlike something like sugar, that will give you an instant energy boots, followed swiftly by an energy slump, the wholegrains of Freekeh will supply you with a steady source of energy between meals.
7. It could help prevent bowel cancer
Eating freekeh could help to prevent bowel cancer. The high levels of resistant starch that the grain contains, creates just the right environment for certain types of bacteria to form in the digestive system that, in turn, create a substance called butyrate, which is believed to help stop bowel cancer developing.
8. It is good for your bones and teeth
Freekeh is high in the minerals: calcium, iron and zinc. The iron is essential for blood heath; it helps carry oxygen around that body and stops you becoming anaemic. The calcium and zinc work together to strengthen and build bones, and they help to prevent osteoporosis. Studies have shown that zinc plays a vital role in reducing the loss of bone mass in old age.
9. It contains far fewer contaminants than ordinary wheat
Because freekeh is not mass produced on huge machined farms, it will have been exposed to far fewer insecticides and pesticides than the usual wheat that you would buy in the shops. That does make a little bit more expensive, but as most of it is grown and processed on small farms in the Middle East, it will have fewer toxins in it.
10. It is easy on the stomach
It is estimated that most people in the Western hemisphere don’t eat enough fibre and that contributes to a whole range of different health problems, from cancer to heart disease. Adding more high fibre foods, like freekeh, to your diet will keep you a lot healthier and it will improve your digestive system and help you avoid constipation and other digestive problems.
Stay happy and healthy!