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Benefits of spelled

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What is spelled?

Spelled is an ancient cereal originating from Mesopotamia, which has existed for thousands of years. More recently, its popularity has also grown in Italy. Not only it tastes greatbut it also boasts many beneficial properties for health. It is rich in fiber, proteins, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Spelled represents a valid alternative to refined cereals and can be easily added to the diet.

Contrary to popular belief, spelled does not refer to one type of grain, but is often used to describe three different grains:

  • Monococco: Spelled small, scientifically known as Triticum monococcum
  • Farro: Medium spelled, scientifically known as Thick wheat
  • Farro: Large spelled, scientifically known as Wheat and corn

The type most commonly found in Europe is spelled. He comes sold dry and prepared by cooking it in water until it becomes soft and chewy. Before it is cooked it has an ear similar to that of wheat, but closer to barley. The light brown grain is small in size and has a notable outer layer of bran.

It is an excellent cereal to alternate in the diet with popular cereals such as: rice, quinoa, buckwheat and barley. It can be eaten alone or as an ingredient in dishes such as stews, salads and soups. It can also be added to fruit and eaten as muesli for breakfast.

Nutritional properties

Spelled is an extremely nutritious cereal. It is an excellent source of protein, fiber and nutrients such as magnesium (necessary for bone strong, optimal immunity, healthy nerve and muscle function and to maintain a regular heartbeat), zinc (essential for a healthy immune system and wound healing, as well as for breaking down carbohydrates during digestion) and some B vitamins, such as vitamin B3 (niacin), which helps break down and convert food into energy. It is a much healthier alternative to white rice or other refined grains.

Fifty grams of organic whole spelled contain:

  • Calorie: 170
  • Carbohydrates: 34 grams
  • Grassi: 1 gram
  • Fiber: 5 grams
  • Proteins: 6 grams
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin): 20% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 15% of the RDI
  • Zinc: 15% of the RDI
  • Ferro: 4% of the RDI

Additionally, it helps regulate blood glucose levels and is linked to improved insulin sensitivity.

Fiber content

Modern diets are generally low in fiber. Just one cup of whole grain spelled can provide the 20% of the recommended daily fiber intake. The health benefits of a high fiber diet include, among others, a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Fiber has also been shown to help prevent spikes in blood sugar levels and may even help reduce total and LDL cholesterol, as well as improve digestive health. Firstly, some types of fiber can benefit the intestinal bacterial flora and prevent or resolve constipation.

Aloe supplements can also be useful to improve intestinal function.

Antioxidant properties

Whole grains contain a wide range of antioxidant compounds, such as polyphenols, carotenoids, phytosterols and selenium. All three grains associated with spelt (spelt, einkorn, and spelt) are excellent sources of polyphenols, carotenoids and selenium. Several studies have shown that long-term consumption of diets rich in plant polyphenols can protect against diseases, including some types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative diseases.

Protein content

Spelled is an excellent source of protein. Its protein intake is similar to quinoa but higher than brown rice and whole wheat. When combined with other plant-based foods like legumes, spelled offers a complete protein source. This means that it provides an adequate amount of essential amino acids important for health.

Studies have shown that foods with high protein content help prolong the feeling of satiety. This is partly because protein causes a reduction in hunger hormones. A 12-week study found that when 19 overweight women followed a high-protein diet they ate up to 440 fewer calories per day and lost up to 10 pounds.

Additionally, getting enough protein is essential to increase muscle mass and bring particular benefits for heart health. This is mainly because a high-protein diet contributes to reduce blood pressure and LDL cholesteroltwo major risk factors for heart disease.

Uses in the kitchen

Spelled is generally sold dry and cooked in water until the grains become soft and chewy. It is usually available in wholemeal, pearled, and semi-pearlized varieties. The wholemeal spelled contains more fibre and retains all its nutrients. Semi-pearl spelled has some of the bran removed, while pearl varieties have no bran at all.

The only advantage of pearled or semi-pearld spelled is that it cooks faster and doesn't require soaking overnight like the whole grain version. Pearled spelled cooks faster, in about 15-20 minutes. Semi-pearl (without soaking) cooks in about 25 minutes and whole grain varieties take about 30-40 minutes (plus overnight soaking).

Spelled is also available in different grades of bran: long, medium or broken, and is used in the preparation of salads, soups or for breakfast as a muesli or oat substitute for porridge.

Contraindications

Spelled is wheat, therefore, it naturally contains gluten. This means that it is not suitable for people with celiac disease. Spelled is often thought to contain lower levels of gluten than modern wheat, and many people think that ancient grains are safer for people with gluten-related conditions. If spelled is soaked overnight and sprouted, it is more tolerable and easier to digest for anyone who is sensitive to gluten.

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