Spelt: Information & Nutrition

What is Spelt?

Spelt ( Triticum Spelta ) is not wheat ( Triticum Sativum ) and is among the original natural grains known to man. Spelt originated in South East Asia and was brought to Europe where it was considered the tastiest grain with its nutty flavour. It was a common part of the European diet right up until the 19th century. After this it became less prevalent because of its lower yield in comparison to wheat

Why is Spelt different from wheat?

Wheat has become dominant in the diet of the modern world not because of its nutritional value but because of its convenience commercially. The opposite is the case with Spelt. It has higher nutritional values but lacks the commercial convenience of wheat and therefore has become less prevalent. This however is changing as people become more health conscious. The popularity of Spelt is experiencing a resurgence in Europe and the USA. 

Spelt is not a hybrid grain like wheat. Unlike wheat it has a strong thick outer husk. This characteristic makes it easier to grow organically as it has more natural resistance to typical grain diseases.

 In contrast to wheat the inner kernal of  the Spelt grain contains most of the vital nutritional substance. This means that even pure white spelt bread is a "Wholegrain Bread"

Spelt contains gluten but the gluten present in Spelt is more fragile than that present in wheat. This makes it easier to digest.

Spelt . The Tasty Alternative to wheat

Spelt is not wheat. All Hildegard Health products are wheat free and can be tolerated by almost all wheat allergy sufferers. Spelt contains gluten and is not suitable for Coeliacs. If you are on a diet or particular food regime consult your physician / dietician before introducing Spelt to your diet.

Spelt Nutrition

Protein

Spelt contains over 40% more protein than wheat. This makes it an ideal food for vegetarians.

Essential Amino Acids

 Spelt contains over 40% more essential amino acids than wheat. Essential amino acids are proteins which cannot be synthesised by the body therefore it is vital that we get them through our diet. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and are essential for healthy bones , muscles, skin and general functioning of the body.

Amino acids also play an important role in mental health and general sense of well being. They are building blocks for neurotransmitters the messenger substances responsible for the transmission of the nerve impulses in the nervous system. These neurotransmitters dictate our ability to deal with the stresses and strains of every day life, regulate blood pressure and balance our emotions. 

Spelt is high in the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan stimulates the production of  the hormone serotonin which help regulates mood, sleep, memory and appetite.

Mental and emotional well being is the best protection against disease. Spelt is thus at the head of the list of foods which increase the body's natural resistance. 

Essential Fatty Acids

Spelt contains more essential fatty acids ( Polyunsaturated fats ) than wheat.

These fatty acids are vital to maintain the lipid wall protecting the nerves.

Polyunsaturated fats also help reduce cholesterol. 

B Vitamins

Spelt is higher in Vitamin B1 than wheat. B Vitamins control carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. They play a role in the health of the skin the mucous membrane the blood and the nervous system.

Quality Fibre

Spelt contains higher levels of of soluble and insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibre helps regularise the function of the digestive system. It is the oil that keeps the digestive engine running smoothly. Spelt is particularly high in crude fibre which aids the elimination of toxins and carcinogens from the digestive tract.

The soluble fibre help normalise the cholesterol levels in the body.

Quality Carbohydrates

Spelt is higher in complex carbohydrates than wheat. During digestion complex carbohydrates are digested slowly providing the body with a more constant prolonged and source of energy. Consuming Spelt particularly early in the day reduces the tendency to indulge in snacks throughout the day in order to boost energy. Spelt contains the carbohydrate known as mucopolysaccharides which play a role in blood clotting and stimulate the body's immune system so as to increase its resistance to infection.