Spelt: what it is, how it looks and where it grows, useful properties
Spelt is a type of cereal crop, which is the ancestor of modern wheat.
- What is spelt and where does it grow
- What is the difference between spelt and wheat
- Composition and calories
- Spelt's glycemic index
- Is there gluten in spelt
- What is spelt useful for?
- For Women
- For Men
- For breastfeeding
- For Children
- The benefits and harms of spelt pasta
- Useful properties of spelt groats for weight loss
- Spelt in medicine
- Diabetes mellitus
- For pancreatitis
- For gastritis
- For constipation
- At gout
- Health Hazards and Contraindications
- How to cook spelt: Recipes
- Porridge with water
- Armenian recipe
- How to choose and store spelt
- Interesting facts about spelt
What is spelt and where does it grow
It may be called spelt, emmer, double grain in different places. This cereal differs from ordinary wheat by its larger size and a shell protected by tough flakes. Spelt is unpretentious, resistant to fungal diseases, and matures in a short time.
Spelt growth depends on the amount of rainfall. Their abundance in Morocco, Turkey, Iraq, Iran and in several regions of France has preserved plantations of wild varieties of spelt. Spelt is a cultivated variety. American, Armenian, Indian, Iranian, and Turkish producers supply it to world markets today. Farmers in Dagestan and Bashkiria are trying to revive spelt plantations in Russia.
What is the difference between spelt and wheat?
The usefulness of wheat lies in the bran, that is, in the shell of the grain. Flour produced from wheat loses all its useful properties. Spelt, on the other hand, retains its usefulness even when it becomes ground grits, freed from the grain shell. The amount of gluten in spelt is much lower than in wheat.
Despite the dominance of wheat in cereal production, spelt is growing in popularity. This is due to the useful micronutrients it contains. Despite its superiority over wheat in composition of useful substances, unpretentiousness to weather conditions and ease of cultivation, spelt has surrendered its positions because of its low yield, which cannot be said about wheat.
Composition and calories
Spelt is an indispensable product in dietetics. In the treatment of obesity will help its content of vitamins, minerals. The presence of vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, B9, E, and PP in spelt confirms its leadership among many known cereals. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper and manganese, iron, phosphorus and sodium make it an invaluable product for followers of a healthy lifestyle. Spelt is enriched with just 18 amino acids.
People on a diet will be attracted to the low calorie content of spelt. Only 127 kilocalories will be contained in one hundred grams of cooked groats and 337 units in raw ones. Spelt surpasses all other cereals in vegetable protein content: 27 to 37 percent.
Spelt's glycemic index
In order to determine the impact of carbohydrates in food on the degree of glucose content in the blood, an indicator called the glycemic index is used. A high index of the product leads to a rapid breakdown of carbohydrates in the body and an increase in blood sugar content.
The glycemic index of spelt has a value of forty points. The large shape of the spelt grain and its protection by an outer hard shell makes it invulnerable to radioactive radiation and other adverse influences.
Is there gluten in spelt
Such a question is asked by people who are allergic to wheat or have celiac disease. Gluten is a group of proteins found in cereal grains. Spelt does contain gluten, but much less than wheat. The former has the shortest chromosome row. It has only fourteen chromosomes. This contributes to the cereal containing the smallest number of possible gluten variants.
What is spelt good for?
The richness of the chemical composition in spelt increases the effectiveness of its use to strengthen the body. Blood sugar levels, endocrine system function, heart, blood vessels, nervous system - all experience the beneficial effects of vitamins, amino acids available in spelt. Its usefulness is fully appreciated by vegetarians and advocates of a healthy lifestyle. But the average person will undoubtedly also appreciate the dishes of this unusual variety of wheat for its beneficial effects on the body: it increases efficiency, improves the function of the digestive organs and memory, increases immunity, normalizes the work of the brain. A man will react less to stressful situations.
The female body responds to spelt not only by improving the general state of the body. Cereal has an impact on the restoration of reproductive function. The production of sex hormones is activated, the uterine muscles are strengthened. In addition, the useful substances contained in spelt perform the prevention of breast cancer.
In addition to improving the general state of the body, the inclusion of spelt dishes in the diet in men, as well as in women, increases the production of sex hormones. It is also noteworthy that spelt increases the male libido and reduces the risk of neoplasms.
Spelt, as a product full of outstanding properties, becomes very useful for women during pregnancy. They gain weight during this period because of the constant feeling of hunger, which leads to overeating. Spelt porridge can help to overcome the desire to eat constantly: it gives a feeling of fullness for a long time.
Many women suffer from constipation during pregnancy. The use of spelt dishes leads to the normalization of intestinal function and digestion. The content in the groats of trace elements serves the prevention and elimination of problems with defecation. Balance in the amount of nutrients normalizes the overall condition of the mother and fetus.
The lactation period is very capricious, because it requires special attention to the food taken. Porridge during this period is an indispensable meal.
Spelt porridge is superior to all others in its usefulness. It introduces the maximum amount of useful vitamins and amino acids to the nursing mother's body, which are delivered through breast milk to the baby.
The content in the groats of a small amount of gluten can lead to allergic reactions in the infant. Therefore, the introduction to the mother's diet of dishes from this cereal should be gradual and in small portions.
When the period of additional nutrition for an infant arrives, introducing spelt porridge into its diet is the most correct decision. An eight-month-old baby, along with other porridges, should have a dish of this cereal in the menu. Of course, you should not forget that it contains gluten, which may cause an allergic reaction. When feeding the baby, you need to observe the gradualness of getting used to this cereal, so you should start with small portions. Later in life, as the child grows older, it is desirable to leave spelt porridge, so rich in vitamins, on the menu.
The benefits and harms of spelt pasta
Spelt pasta contains fats, proteins and carbohydrates: 2.4; 16.9; and 68 grams, respectively. The preservation of consumer and visual characteristics in all known spelt pasta is two years. The only condition is to store pasta, spaghetti and noodles at room temperature. The taste qualities of spelt pasta and wheat, rye, oats or rice products are in no way inferior to each other.
The benefits of spelt pasta are determined by the presence in the flour of essential amino acids for the body and a radical reduction in the concentration of gluten. The risk of allergic reactions is reduced as much as possible.
Regular and systematic use of spelt helps strengthen the body and normalize the work of the digestive and central nervous systems, heart and blood vessels. Lovers and connoisseurs sometimes call it "the black caviar in the world of cereals". This definition emphasizes the value of cereals due to the presence of trace elements, saturated fatty amino acids, B vitamins that are not characteristic of any other cereal product.
Thermal processing of pasta does not affect the content of their useful substances. This property allows them to stand on a par with bran and whole grains. Overweight, systematic fatigue, physical and intellectual overstrain should be a reason for the introduction of dishes from spelt pasta in the diet.
The endocrine system of the body will also respond positively to the consumption of pasta. If the glycemic index is 45 units, the risk of atherosclerosis is reduced.
The harm of spelt pasta can manifest itself in case of complete gluten intolerance. Also do not eat such pasta at the time of exacerbation of gastrointestinal diseases: increased peristalsis can lead to complications. The complete replacement of meat products in the diet with spelt pasta can also be harmful. The record amount of plant protein is not capable of replacing the animal protein contained in the meat. The special compatibility of proteins, vitamins, gluten and fats in grits can cause individual intolerance to pasta made from spelt flour.
Poured into boiling water, with periodic stirring they will become ready to use in 7-10 minutes. In combination with vegetables and herbs, quality cheese, mushrooms, tomato sauce the pasta will gain additional flavor.
Useful pasta, which included a variety of juices: beet, carrot, spinach. From this they acquire an unusual color and increase the concentration of useful minerals.
Useful properties of spelt groats for weight loss
Losing weight with the help of spelt is a long-known way for people with the problem of excess weight. With regular use of grits not only reduces weight, but also strengthens the body. The persistence of the result is ensured by:
- Spelt's ability to saturate the body.
- The satiety effect: the feeling of fullness can last for quite a long time.
- Improvement of the digestive process.
Nutritionists approve the use of spelt as one of the means when wishing to lose weight. The fiber contained in the grain regulates the digestive process.
It is very important for weight loss, in addition to providing the body with useful substances, to cleanse it of toxic deposits. In addition, spelt plays a great role in reducing the number of kilograms by eliminating uneaten food from the body.
Using spelt for weight loss will lead to an ideal body shape. After all, thanks to it the intake of vitamins the body needs will be regular. It is important to note here: the grain during milling does not lose its quality indicators, as it happens with wheat.
To get a positive result in the process of losing weight, it is important to follow the recommendations.
- The performance of diet programs, where the main product is spelt and dishes from it, will lead to a weekly weight loss of five kilograms.
- At least three dishes of spelt groats should be prepared during the day. In between are very useful fruits, fish or lean meat.
- Take into account the daily volume of about two liters of liquid, which is mandatory to maintain water balance, you should drink water throughout the day. A glass of water thirty minutes before a meal should be an obligatory rule.
- The consumption of fats should be extremely limited.
- Alcohol interferes with the metabolism and the breakdown of fats. Therefore, its use is undesirable.
Spelt, according to the advice of nutritionists, should be cooked in water or with the addition of milk. Addition in the form of raisins and nuts will increase the usefulness of the dish. For lunch, you can prepare something more complicated like casseroles, vegetable stuffed cabbage rolls. Cereal can replace a side dish of potatoes or pasta. Diet bread baked with the addition of spelt will also bring undeniable benefits to the body during weight loss.
The result of the spelt diet can already appear on the third, fifth or seventh day. All food is prepared with water and, of course, without sugar. This diet eliminates the stress typical of other diets, which are based on a single product.
Also, remember a few other rules.
- Eat five or six meals a day.
- Food, in the preparation of which spelt is used, should be eaten before noon.
- Fish dishes and lean meat can be used in the diet. Vegetables, unsweetened fruits and natural juices also will not harm.
- Those who seriously decided to fight with fat deposits should refuse coffee and tea. They contribute to fluid retention, which is expressed by swelling, lethargy, and the appearance of unwanted pounds.
Dieting does not mean giving up delicious food. For example, the recipe for Corsican soup in no way resembles a diet dish. It is prepared on vegetable broth, the volume of which is 1.5 liters. One glass of spelt is needed. The same amount of red beans. One small onion, a couple of garlic cloves, two or three stalks of mint. 100 grams of hard cheese, goat cheese is also possible; salt, spices and olive oil for frying. Soak grits and beans in advance: the first for 4 hours, the second for 6-8 hours. The beans are processed twice: the first time they are boiled in water until boiling, the second time for one hour. Then the beans are thrown in a colander. Onions and garlic are fried, but if desired, you can simply add them to the broth in chopped form. In the pot, where the beans were boiled earlier, spelt is added, after 15 minutes - the beans, and everything is boiled for another half an hour. To complete the picture, we need boiling water. Grated cheese and mint are poured on plates, half a mug of boiling water is poured and the soup is poured.
No less useful for weight loss will be a salad, which includes one cup of cooked spelt, red onion, cucumber, four tomatoes, herbs. Finely chopped ingredients are dressed with olive oil. Pepper and salt are not recommended for those who want to lose weight. But you can use lemon juice or lime juice squeezed into the salad bowl.
Spelt in medicine
From a medical point of view, spelt is one of the most beneficial products for the human body. The benefits are really felt by patients with diabetes, pancreatitis, gastritis, gout, neuralgic diseases. This cereal will have a beneficial effect on the propensity to osteoporosis and weak immunity.
The cereal contains a large amount of complex carbohydrates. Thanks to them, a person experiences prolonged satiety. It helps in preventing unwanted spikes in blood glucose levels. The low glycemic index (40 units) helps significantly in stabilizing sugar levels. Vitamin B6 and magnesium help normalize blood glucose levels.
Polba in this diagnosis is recommended only after examination by a specialist. The large amount of carbohydrates in it can provoke complications with inflammatory processes in the pancreas. Therefore, porridge only in small amounts can have a beneficial effect on the patient with pancreatitis.
Spelt is recommended by specialists for consumption by patients with this diagnosis. They are guided by the positive effect of the composition on the metabolism and the receipt of nutrients by the body. But the grits can have a negative impact on the body if the disease is in the stage of exacerbation. This is due to the possibility of mechanical damage to the esophagus by cereals getting there.
In case of constipation
Dishes made of spelt or in combination with other products activate the metabolic process and solve the problem of cleansing the intestinal tract. Regular use of spelt prevents constipation.
In case of gout
In this joint disease, the metabolism is disturbed. Proper nutrition with a balanced diet contributes to the prevention of exacerbation of the disease. Liquid porridge and spelt soup will help in the fight against the disease. In unconventional treatment for sore joints, porridge and a chicken egg in raw form are used. The mixture, placed on a gauze cloth, is applied to the painful joint. Swelling and soreness soon goes away.
Harm and contraindications
The benefits of spelt were known to our ancestors. Today its usefulness is proven by nutritionists, specialists in medicine, cosmetologists. But along with the outstanding useful properties, spelt has some negative qualities. People suffering from gluten allergies should give up spelt in any of its forms. Even a small amount of gluten in this cereal will aggravate the condition of a person suffering from celiac disease.
Doctors warn against eating spelt during exacerbation of intestinal and stomach diseases. Intolerance of wheat flour, as well as individual intolerance of the product is a contraindication to its use. Ideally, so that there are no health problems after the use, the daily rate is considered a hundred grams of porridge from this product.
How to cook spelt: recipes
Spelt, or wild wheat, can be used in cooking in ground form. Spelt flour is used to make pasta and bake bread. Spelt flour is used to make side dishes or add it to soups. In the distant past, it was used to make porridge in the village oven. But even today's conditions for making porridge from wild wheat do not diminish its qualities. Cookies, muffins, cakes made from spelt flour also have a special taste.
Whatever dish is prepared with spelt flour, it is necessary to soak it beforehand. In this case, the grits will become crumbly.
Porridge with water
To cook delicious spelt, the following proportions are mainly used: 700 grams of pure water, salt, butter (individually) and 15 grams of olive oil are required per 200 grams of groats. This is the dosage of one serving per adult.
Pour the overcooked and rinsed groats into the boiling water. In five minutes, with constant stirring, the porridge will be ready, with very low heat cooking will take about 40 minutes. You should not wait for the porridge to cool: from this it loses flavor.
Important: Similarly, spelt porridge is cooked with milk. Only the consumption of milk will be 400-500 grams per 300 grams of water.
The Armenian recipe
The Armenian variant of porridge has its own characteristics. It must have meat and mushrooms (200 grams of chicken breast and 4 mushrooms), plus two carrots and two onions. To start, the vegetables and mushrooms, diced, should be fried, necessarily in olive oil. To shorten the process of cooking Armenian porridge, soak the groats in cold water for 12 hours. Cook in the multicooker in "Baking" mode.
What else can be cooked?
Spelt is good for cooking sweet porridge. The easiest thing about this method is to add the right amount of sugar. But chopped sweet fruits or dried fruits, nuts will not only give the porridge a special flavor, but also increase its usefulness. No less useful will be a way of cooking sweet porridge with the addition of honey at the end of cooking.
This cereal is also good for soups, dessert, salads. You can prepare stuffed cabbage rolls and pilaf, replacing the traditional rice with spelt. Spelt-stuffed vegetables will have a special taste. A dish where wild wheat is combined with other grains will look original.
Modern kitchen appliances allow you to cook excellent dishes in a special mode. Multicooker is great for cooking porridge. Boiled cereal, stacked in a pile, will be useful for everyone at any age. Chopped fruits and berries in a notch in the middle of the slide and vanilla sugar will add flavor to it.
As a side dish, you can make a simple porridge out of whole-grain spelt. It will go well with any meat. Spices and stewed vegetables would be a good addition to the porridge.
You can prepare a side dish in another version: use walnuts, mushrooms, carrots, onions, beef broth, butter. Seasonings are added at the discretion of the cook. Guarantee crumbly garnish is in the pre-soaking of cereals.
The oven can replace the multicooker and Russian oven. Delicious side dish will turn out if you pour water on the groats in the ratio: one volume of cereal and two volumes of water. For baby food is acceptable ratio of groats and water 1 to 5. To garnish does not burn, requires periodic stirring. If burning has already begun, it can be stopped by pouring a little hot water.
How to Choose and Store Spelt
Spelt can be purchased as a cereal product, flour and sprouted grain. The integrity of the packaging, expiration date, storage conditions, the appearance of the product - the main thing when inspecting the upcoming purchase.
Purchased products should preferably be stored in a refrigerator, placed in a container with no access to humid air and odors. Spelt retains its useful properties for only 8 months in a cool place.
Interesting facts about spelt
- More than three thousand years ago, it was the main cereal in the diet of people. From the point of view of geneticists, this cereal is the purest because of its simple chromosomal code of 14.
- Historical research by scientists says that spelt grew on the earth as early as 6,000 to 8,000 years ago. It is mentioned by Homer, Herodotus, and the ancient Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus. The latter claimed that the Romans valued spelt most of all.
- Babylon, Egypt are the main areas where it grew and then spread northward, reaching Transcaucasia and Europe.
- People who believe and read the Bible, find the name of this crop in the Bible. For 390 days the prophet Ezekiel had a meager diet of various grains and water. Spelt is repeatedly mentioned in the list of these grains.
- It was especially popular with the Chuvash and Udmurts. The Russians have been growing this crop since the fifth century B.C. Back in the 19th century, spelt bread was the main dish on a peasant's table. As an arable crop until the middle of the 19th century, it could be found in the territories of Bashkiria, Chuvashia and the North Caucasus.
- Spelt is native to Babylon and Egypt, but in Germany and the United States it is considered a Russian product. Even its subspecies are called "Russian."
- World War II eliminated spelt from people's diets. But recent studies of scientists and nutritionists have revived it as a valuable product, which is a real treasure trove of valuable substances.
Thus, spelt is a unique cereal, which due to its composition is irreplaceable in the recovery of the entire body.
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