Grains Can Often Be Demonized, But How Do Its Cool Relatives Compare?
Kinda writing this blog post as a bit of a celebration that I DON’T have celiac disease! In my journey to discover what has been wrong with my stomach lately, I was tested for celiac disease. And ladies and gents, I go the call on Friday (TGIF, am I right?) that the results were negative! BRING ON THE GLUTEN. Some people believe that gluten can be the source of all evil…but I truly believe that when consuming bread and bread products, we should just choose “high quality grains” (e.g. whole grain products, sprouted grains, quinoa, oats, rice). These things provide us with all kinds of good fibers, prebiotics (food for the gut bacteria), and even protein as we will learn below. Moral of the story: eat responsibly.
“Okay but what even is a ‘sprouted’ grain??” The grains, whatever kinds are in the product, are soaked before production to allow digestive enzymes within the plant to increase. This also actually decreases the potentially anti-nutrient properties of some grains. The sprouting process also increases protein and fiber content in the bread, while decreasing fat content, energy value, and carbohydrate content. These grains are then combined and made into bread products! No ground flour processing necessary.
“Ezekiel bread” is the common form of sprouted grain. It’s based originally off of Ezekiel 4:9, the book in the bible: “And you, take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and emmer, and put them into a single vessel and make your bread from them. During the number of days that you lie on your side, 390 days, you shall eat it.” As instruction, they should eat these grains as their fuel throughout the symbolic 390 days. These grains, which were mixed all together, symbolize the scarcity of resources during this time. Yet, this grain mix would supply them with protein and fiber because these particular grains combined make a complete protein (containing all 9 essential amino acids). God’s cool, y’all. And He always supplies us with what we need.
So when 7 grains (wheat, barley, rye, millet, oats, brown rice, and corn) are combined in that form of commercial bread…crazy cool things happen. You get a grain product that’s a complete protein, high in fiber, and more easily digested.
So if more fiber and more protein is what you’re looking for (hint: it SHOULD be what you’re looking for), then I suggest trying to switch to sprouted grains when consuming grains in bread form! The flavor takes some getting used to, but it’s definitely worth the change. You can usually find this bread in the frozen section. Eat up.