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An ancient grain


May be tolerated by those gluten or wheat sensitive

Spelt Pasta

  • Spelt is a cousin of wheat but is an ancient grain which predates many wheat hybrids.
  • One significant advantage is that spelt may be tolerated by those with sensitivities to wheat [Triticum family]. With regard to the gluten in spelt “When ripe, spelt contains gluten, but the gluten found in cereal grains is not all alike. Gluten is made up of two kinds of molecules, glutenin and gliadin, and the amount of each differs in the different grains. The molecular composition of the gluten in spelt is such that its gluten is more fragile than that found in wheat, so it is more easily digested.” (Murray, Pizzorno et al. 2005).
  • Spelt is abundant in the following micronutrients: Vitamin B2, manganese, niacin, thiamin, and copper.
  • This makes spelt particularly beneficial for those suffering from migraines, diabetes and atherosclerosis.
  • It also has complete protein.

Mucopolysaccharides in spelt

  • The unique aspect of spelt is that it is the only grain that contains a special type carbohydrate called mucopolysaccharides.
    The cyanogenic glucoside mucopolysaccharides have been shown to stimulate the immune system, to lower cholesterol and to play a critical role in the clotting of blood (Murray, Pizzorno et al. 2005).
  • Use of spelt in sport The following attributes of spelt make it ideal for ‘carbo-loading’ and post-event replenishing carbohydrate in sport (Murray, Pizzorno et al. 2005).
  1. The high level of complex-carbohydrates
  2. The immune-enhancing effects.
  3. Double the protein and fibre content of most commercially available wheats

What you should know!

  • Refrigerate or store in the freezer until use to protect the spelt germ against rancidity.
  • Spelt may be labelled ‘Farro’. Cracked farro should be avoided due to the possibility of spoilage.
  • Like all grains, it should washed thoroughly and soaked [overnight or for 1 – 2 days in the fridge] before cooking.
  • Avoid spelt if you have an autoimmune disease as your immune system is overstimulated as it is.
  • If sport is played at a serious or elite level then the immune system can be suppressed resulting in serious infections such as pneumonia at times. In this instance, a food that can enhance immune function such as spelt, is an advantage.

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