Spelled has great nutritional power and is better tolerated by the body than any other grain. “It doesn’t matter how it is taken, like bread or with other foods, because it is good and easy to digest,” that is how the wonderful 12th-century German religious and medical woman Hildegard Von Bingen spoke about this wonderful cereal.
This seed is an ancient wheat variety, today unknown to most. It was the basis of human food in the Mediterranean environment for thousands of years and, without it, our history would have been different. But almost a century ago it fell into disuse.
Spelled or spelled wheat (Triticum espelta) is an ancient cereal whose benefits to your health are counted by dozens. A healthy ally that in the last decade does not cease to rise in popularity, placing itself on its own merits in the list of superfoods from which healthy life lovers do not take their eyes off.
This cereal was already cultivated 7,000 years ago both in ancient Egypt and in China, the latter country in which it was not only admired as a complete food but as an essential ingredient in the manufacture of beer. Until they came from Iran.
Do not miss the opportunity to know the ‘ star cereal’ that will mark a before and after in your dietary guidelines. Keep reading because the spelled is going to show you that it has no waste.
What is the Spelled?
Spelled is a cereal less popular than wheat (Triticum aestivum) , which some consider a variety of it. Following this line, it would be a subspecies of wheat, from which it would be distinguished both by its nutritional contribution (much higher in the case of spelled) and by the characteristics of its husk (very difficult to eliminate).
- It has a rich nutritional and unique nutritional value
- In the middle of the Middle Ages it was used to make bread from the wealthy classes
- Despite this, the evolution of modern agricultural techniques caused it to stop cultivating around the 19th century, falling into oblivion
- Today its cultivation is recovering, mainly in the mountainous areas of Spain, Austria, Switzerland and Germany
- It stands out for its resistance to the most adverse weather conditions
- It does not require chemical fertilizers or pesticides so it is a cereal used in organic farming
- Thanks to this type of natural and organic food its cultivation goes in crescendo
- In certain areas it is known as wild wheat or green wheat
- With it, a typical oriental meal called bulgur is made , consisting of cooking wheat grains on a grill and then splitting them
Contrary to what happens with other cereals, spelled stoically endures low temperatures and lack of water, so its adaptation to adverse weather conditions is assured, as we have just indicated. However, it grows best in climates with good weather, around 25ºC, and with a certain humidity.
Know the Spelled Flour
Spelled flour, as its name suggests, is a flour that is obtained by grinding the grains of this cereal . It stands out for being a fine powder widely used to produce bread , because it makes this food a delicious and peculiar aroma, whose rustic flavor reminds of the old village breads.
It is recommended, when used in bakeries, to be combined with wheat flour, thus achieving better results.
Benefits at the nutritional level
The spelled attracts attention because it is a very suitable wheat variety for organic farming , which means that the majority of products made with this cereal that we find on the shelves of supermarkets, come from organic farming or cultivation.
High content of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and fiber
Many are the excellencies that are counted on the spelled, most of them true. From the point of view of nutrition, its content, with 75% carbohydrates, 15% protein (with the presence of 8 essential amino acids) and only 5% fat makes it, compared with common wheat, have a higher percentage of carbohydrates, more fiber, more protein and more amount of vitamins B1 and B2.
Higher mineral content
It also highlights its richness in minerals, vital for the optimal daily performance of the organism, also being a source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium.
Strengthens the immune system. Above its healthy composition, which makes it a cereal acclaimed by nutritionists, it is worth mentioning its high lysine content , an essential amino acid lacking in common wheat.
Lysine is an amino acid that the body cannot synthesize on its own, requiring it to be obtained through diet. As for the role it plays in the body it is key, since it improves its calcium absorption capacity and helps the production of growth hormones, also serving to enhance the neurological system and develop the immune system.
Approximately, in each gram of spelled, 40mg of lysine are found, which makes its contribution high enough so that this single cereal practically meets the daily needs.
Relieves constipation. Another of the differences that we can point out regarding common wheat is that the outer layers of spelled are very complicated to eliminate, which establishes a lack of structural similarity between both cereals.
This difficulty, which long ago was seen as a problem, by preventing the grain from being refined, allows us today to consume a cereal rich in fiber and especially soluble , which makes it an ideal food for people who suffer constipation.
It will make you feel happier. The explanation is simple. This cereal has among its components tryptophan, an amino acid that is responsible for regulating serotonin , which in turn is a chemical responsible for our mood and our happiness.
It is also a source of natural phenylalanine , which is transformed into tyrosine in the body, which is a precursor to various neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, dopamine and adrenaline.
Adrenaline is generated whenever our body has to make a great effort in a short time, which is equivalent to saying that phenylalanine develops a direct action on the energy of the human body. And if you have energy you will put, in bad weather, good face!
The Spelled, better unrefined
That the spelled display all its benefits on your body, happens because you take it without refining, using flour or unrefined spelled grain , with which you directly prepare your most delicious recipes. In this simple way you will be benefiting from a cereal with a considerable fiber and protein content compared to others we usually have in the pantry.
If in the end you choose to buy products made from industrialized spelled, at least take the precaution of carefully reading their nutritional labeling , because if you do not do it, it is likely that you are ingesting fats, salt or sugar without need, as occurs with products made in the style of breads or cookies.
Other ways to take cereal fashion
We have already talked about spelled flour. Now we want to announce other presentations of this cereal to which you will give different uses, some of the most common being the following:
- Spelled grains. Presented whole can be cooked by splitting, which reduces the cooking time, then crumble and incorporate into salads. The brewing industry incorporated this grain to achieve fermentation back in 1720.
- Spelled flakes. Crumbled, they constitute a formidable option for porridge and breakfast.
Consuming spelled in the form of sprouts will allow you to multiply your nutrients. Have you decided on the format that best suits your taste?
What differences are there between modern and spelled wheat?
1. Spelled has a nutritional value superior to wheat
Although spelled is an older cereal, it has not undergone as many genetic modifications as wheat , which was manipulated to meet manufacturing needs.
Spelled has maintained many of its original characteristics that provide an incredible nutritional profile, along with an easy digestion that gives it anti-inflammatory qualities.
Proteins It is true that spelled has some more protein than wheat (15% vs. 10%), but the most important thing is that these proteins contain the eight amino acids necessary for the human body. These amino acids are called “essentials” because the body cannot produce them. They are only achieved through food. In addition, these proteins contain more of an amino acid called lysine than in the case of wheat, which makes them proteins with higher biological quality.
Fiber. Spelled fiber is mostly soluble fiber. This delays the absorption of carbohydrates, so it is beneficial for all people, but especially for diabetics. Also, and thanks to its high fiber content, it is ideal against constipation and in weight loss diets.
Minerals The mineral content is also higher in spelled, highlighting magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc.
Vitamins Spelled contains vitamins B, E and A. To get an idea, a slice of spelled bread contains approximately 75% riboflavin (vitamin B2), which is ideal against migraines!
Thanks to its great richness in nutrients, spelled is a great ally for our health, supporting in a healthy way its functions in the cardiovascular system, bone, nervous system and immune system.
2. Spelled is more digestive than common wheat
Although spelled contains gluten, and is not suitable for coeliacs, it is true that it is much better tolerated than wheat, so many people with a tendency to suffer from some type of wheat allergy, do not have any problem when consuming spelled .
In many cases, the consumption of modern wheat leads to digestive and inflammatory problems.
But why do we digest spelled better than common wheat?
TO) Spelled gluten has a different molecular composition than modern wheat gluten, being more fragile and soluble in water. However, wheat gluten does not break down in water, and when it works it becomes stronger. In fact, modern wheat has been modified to develop a high gluten content and to produce a high volume of commercial baked goods.
Something similar happens in our digestive system. Spelled gluten, which is more fragile, easily breaks into pieces during chewing and mixing, which allows enzymes and acids secreted during the digestive process to work more easily. In the case of wheat, a bolus is formed during the digestive process, making it more difficult to digest.
B) Modern wheat was modified to eliminate the outer shell, and thus make it easier to harvest. By not having this husk, modern wheat developed enzyme inhibitors to fight pests (enzymes are what we use to digest food). These enzyme inhibitors further retard the activity of the enzyme that is needed for complete digestion.
Spelled, with a hard outer shell, does not need enzyme inhibitors, so its digestion is easier.
C) Finally, spelled has more fiber content than wheat, which helps better digestion of gluten.
3. Spelled is more resistant and more environmentally friendly than wheat
As we have commented, in order to make it easier to harvest, modern wheat was modified to eliminate the outer shell. By suppressing this husk, apart from eliminating important nutrients, wheat became more susceptible to insects and diseases, which led to the need to use toxic pesticides.
As an old grain, spelled has kept its outer shell hard, so it withstands harsher climates and is more resistant to diseases, which eliminates the need for herbicides, pesticides or fungicides.
On the other hand, spelled can grow in difficult terrain without the need for fertilizers, as it is a relatively low yield crop. Therefore, it is a more sustainable long-term and more environmentally friendly crop.