What are the health benefits of Spelt?
Spelt is a grain that is packed full of nutrients and it’s one of the oldest cultivated crops in the world. It is closely related to normal wheat, and it does contain gluten, but it is fast growing in reputation, as a health food because of the incredibly broad range of nutrients that it contains that far outstrip those that are contained in normal wheat. Spelt can be used very much in the same way as wheat can and you can make cakes, bread and cookies with spelt flour, or you can use the whole grains as an alternative to rice in dishes such as risotto. Spelt was a staple part of the diet in some parts of Europe in the Bronze Age, but it was replaced by normal wheat in mediaeval times. Today, however, spelt is making a comeback as a health food and here are ten of the health benefits of spelt that are responsible for its increasing popularity.
1. Reduces cholesterol
The high fibre content of spelt means that it can be very useful in helping to control the levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream. A single cup of spelt flour contains 19 grams of fibre and that fibre helps food to pass quickly through the body and it restricts the amount of bad cholesterol that is absorbed into the blood.
2. Improves the circulation
Another one of great health benefits of spelt is that it is unusually high in iron and copper. These two minerals can significantly improve the circulation, which will bring more oxygen to the vital organs in the body. Iron and copper are also used by the body to produce red blood cells, so eating spelt can help to prevent anaemia too.
3. Helps with the production of new tissue and muscles
Spelt has very high protein content and it is also a good source of the mineral phosphorous. These are two of the main components that the body needs to grow new tissues, muscles and bones. In fact, the proteins that you will get from eating spelt can be used by the body for virtually every important bodily process.
4. Boosts the immune system
Another one of the many health benefits of spelt is that it contains a wonderful nutrient – thiamine, which is known to boost the immune system and improve the body’s defence against infection and disease. Spelt is one of only a few cereal crops that contain a good supply of thiamine and other members of the Vitamin B group.
5. Balances the hormonal system
Spelt is a very good source of niacin, which helps to regulate the production of hormones in the body. The glands that produce hormones, called the endocrine system, is responsible for all kinds of important bodily functions, from sexual drive, for tissue formation and it is a very delicate system, so maintaining a good supply of niacin is vital for your general health and wellbeing.
6. Controls diabetes
Unlike the simple carbohydrates that are found in sugar and refined flour, the complex carbohydrates that are found in spelt do not cause blood sugar level spikes that can be dangerous for people who have diabetes. Eating spelt can help to regulate the blood sugar levels in diabetics and stop people developing diabetes in the first place.
7. Improves digestive health
The fibre in spelt, one of the highest of all the varieties of wheat, will also keep your digestive system in good health. Dietary fibre keeps food moving through your system properly and that will prevent many of the minor digestive problems like constipation and bloating, as well as more serious conditions such as gastric ulcers.
8. Improves bone health
Eating spelt will strengthen your bones and teeth and can help to prevent the age-related weakening of bones in old age and diseases like osteoporosis. Spelt contains a very healthy concentration of minerals, including selenium, copper, magnesium and zinc, all of which are used by the body create and to strengthen bone tissue.
9. Prevents gallstones
The high amount of insoluble fibre in spelt also plays a big part in the prevention of gallstones. Fibre not only increases the speed that food passes through the body, it also reduces the amount of bile acids that are produced in the intestines and, too much bile acid, is what can cause gallstones to form.
10. Controls migraine headaches
One of fabulous health benefits of spelt is that it contains high levels of riboflavin, which has been proven to reduce the frequency and the severity of migraine headaches. Just two ounces of a baked product made from spelt would provide you with over 75% of your daily recommended amount of riboflavin. Riboflavin also plays a key role in converting food to energy, producing antioxidants in the body and in metabolising iron into the bloodstream.
Do you know other health benefits of spelt?
Stay happy and healthy!