Is Sprouted Wheat Healthy? What Are the Benefits of Sprouted Wheat?
Did you know that wheat is a controversial food? Between the total wheat-abstaining paleo folks and the properly-prepared-wheat Weston A Price devotees, there are a lot of opinions about why conventional wheat might be destroying your health!
If you’d like to find out more about why some people exclude wheat from their diet, I strong suggest reading Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis.
Over the years, I’ve struggled with digesting wheat, but I’ve learned that I can digest wheat well if I follow three rules: Take a good digestive enzyme, eat sprouted or sourdough wheat, and keep my wheat consumption to less than three times per week.
In case you’re wondering, sprouted wheat flour is not gluten free. But, if you’re not allergic to the gluten protein (as those with celiac disease are), you can probably add wheat to your diet in moderate amounts without consequence, especially if the wheat is properly prepared.
If you have decided that wheat can be a part of a healthy diet, read on to find out more about one traditional method of sprouting wheat before consumption for optimal nutrition.
Sprouting Wheat Reduces or Eliminates Phytic Acid
Wheat (and other grains) contains a substance called phytic acid. Phytic acid resides in the bran portion of grains. In our digestive systems, phytic acid inhibits the absorption of important minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, etc.
Fortunately when wheat berries are sprouted phytic acid is neutralized. Sprouting also neutralizes aflatoxins found in grains. (Aflatoxins are carcinogenic and are found in grains and legumes.)
Sprouting Wheat Increases the Nutrition in Wheat
The process of sprouting wheat berries (wheat seeds) increases the Vitamin C, Vitamin B and Carotene content in the wheat berries. The process of sprouting wheat berries transforms wheat from a potentially difficult-to-digest, possibly harmful food into a gentle, vitamin rich food. (source)
Sprouting Wheat Makes it More Digestible
When wheat is sprouted is produces enzymes that can help break down the gluten in the wheat. (source) Now, that doesn’t mean that people who are allergic to gluten or have a sensitivity to it can chow down on sprouted wheat. It does mean that sprouted wheat is easier to digest because of the enzyme work done in the wheat berries during the sprouting process.
I know I’ve seen a huge difference in how I feel after eating conventional wheat versus after eating sprouted wheat.
Sprouted Wheat is Typically Less Processed Than Conventional Wheat
While there is nothing stopping sprouted wheat flour companies from making a highly processed, nutrient-stripped white flour product, I don’t know a single one who does.
There are various types of sprouted wheat on the market, from sprouted spelt (my favorite) to sprouted whole wheat and sprouted white wheat. All of it is minimally processed and completely delicious.
Sprouted Wheat is Really Tasty
The difference between conventional wheat and sprouted wheat is like the difference between a microwave dinner and a home cooked meal. There’s no comparison.
Breads made with sprouted wheat have a wholesome, slightly nutty flavor – the emphasis on flavor. Conventional wheat has no flavor. It’s all been processed out. Sprouted wheat packs a flavorful punch and doesn’t need tons of salt or sugar to cover up a powdery, glue-like flavor in the way conventional wheat does.
You Can Buy Sprouted Flour or Make it Yourself
One of my favorite things about sprouted flour is that it fits my budget. If I have to be really frugal, I can buy wheat berries and sprout them myself to grind into flour. Check out my tutorial on how to sprout wheat berries for more information.
When the budget is more accommodating, I buy sprouted wheat flour.
No matter which works best for you and your family, the benefits of sprouted flour make it worth it to keep some on hand.
Before you go!
This is how I get a real food dinner on the table on even the busiest evenings. It’s all about planning, baby. Check it out!