Today's "modern" high-yield semi-dwarf wheat was developed by cross-breeding and crude genetic manipulation around 40 years ago. This wheat was bred to increase yield and profits for the agricultural production industry. But it did nothing to benefit the consumer. Since the introduction of this new wheat into the food supply, gluten sensitivities and obesity rates have skyrocketed.
The wheat our ancestors knew
Prior to the advent of modern grain technology, our ancestors baked with the superior ancient grain known as einkorn, a wheat that had nourished people for thousands of years. In fact, the famed Ice Man, who lived more than 3,000 years ago, was found to have eaten einkorn wheat bread as part of his last meal!
While modern high-yield dwarf wheat contains a proportional high content of gluten and difficult to digest, einkorn is simple and uncomplicated. It only contains two sets of chromosomes, unlike emmer wheat (a generation removed) which has four sets, or spelt (another generation removed), which has six sets just like modern wheat. Since einkorn has only two sets of chromosomes, it is the most ancient and purest form of wheat with naturally low gluten content and is easiest on digestion. Furthermore, the humble einkorn supplies more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than its sophisticated descendant. These nutrients include a significant amount of the powerful vision-enhancing antioxidant, lutein, as well as B-complex vitamins, iron, protein, and dietary fiber.
All carbohydrates should be consumed with prudence, since most trigger insulin release to pack on excess fat. However, einkorn is one ancient grain that stands above the rest in nutrition and low reactivity potential. It's easy to digest and its low-gluten profile makes it ideal for people who are sensitive to this tough wheat protein.
While I was researching the virtues of einkorn, I met a young lady named Kayla who was serving an LDS mission in the Atlanta area. Prior to coming on her 18-month service, she had been diagnosed with severe gluten sensitivity and could not eat any grain products during that time. I invited she and her missionary companion over for dinner and told them about this amazing wheat. Being young and adventurous, she said she would be willing to try einkorn pasta and said she would know within a couple of hours if it would adversely affect her. The next time I invited them to dinner, I served a lot of einkorn pasta as part of the meal. This stalwart young lady did not experience any negative effects, so every time they came to dinner I would serve some of the pasta. Kayla expressed a desire for pancakes and said she really missed eating them, so I invited the pair to breakfast one morning and she did not have a reaction to the einkorn-flour pancakes, either!
As you can see, einkorn might be worth trying, even if you are sensitive to the wheat protein fraction, gluten. (However, you are encouraged to check with your physician before trying it).
If you'd like to check out einkorn products for yourself, click the links below.*
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Debbie Neumayer has dedicated her life to researching and writing about nutrition and natural medicine. She enjoys sharing this information and helping people discover paths to greater health and wealth.