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June 14, 2012

How Can Sourdough Bread Be Healthier than Wheat?

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August 1st is Lamas Day

Aug. 1 is Lamas Day

Like everything else in the commercial world of making money, the push for some time now has been to eat more wheat bread because it is healthier for you. Well, just like the rest of the sheep out there, I was following the Pied Piper right over the proverbial cliff. However, just before getting to the edge and falling into the whole wheat abyss, I stumbled, hit my head and woke up with amnesia. Wondering where I was and how I got there, I began my quest to discover why I was listening to the tune “whole wheat.”

Every where I looked, the information pointed to whole wheat; flakes, cracked, bread, pasta and anything else that the industry thought the consumers would buy. One day I decided to deconstruct the process of making bread which lead me to how to make bread the way it used to be made. Kinda like going back to organic, homestead style.

pumpernickel bread

Pumpernickel Bread

To my surprise, I discovered; “SOURDOUGH AND PUMPERNICKEL IS HEALTHIER THAN WHEAT BREADS.” Would you like to know HOW sourdough bread is healthier than wheat bread?

It comes down to the very beginning process of how it is made and then how it is digested in your body.

First, How it’s made:

Sourdough bread making is centuries old. The process was created for preserving ans storing yeast for long periods. this sourdough starter was kept “alive” as the basis for making loaves of bread for travel or just at home. Believe it or not, some of today’s starters are centuries old  and have been handed down from generation to generation and friend to friend.  Hence, the word used to describe this bread at times as “friendship bread”.  Back to the bread.

You need flour and water  to create an environment for yeast to grow.  yeast is floating in the air all around us and just needs the proper environment to land and grow. Yeast is leavening agent, a single-cell fungus that breaks down the starches in the flour, forming sugar. This is fermentation. When the yeast works on the starch and sugar molecules, it gives off carbon dioxide gas and alcohol that makes the bread rise.

Difference between fresh sourdough bread and average store bought bread:

The big difference between sourdough bread and store bought is the source of the yeast. Most bakers today use pre-packaged yeast.  The yeast has been dried, preserved and formed into a powder. You add flour, water, sugar and salt to the yeast to make a loaf of bread. The water re-activates the yeast fungi, which feeds on the sugar and starch to make the bread rise.

Old fashioned sourdough bread works with yeast in a completely different way. Fresh sourdough yeast fungi are  kept alive continuously a starter medium. You can either capture wild yeast that floats in the air as described above to create starter from scratch or get a cup of active starter from a friend.

It is this  starter that gives sourdough bread its distinctive taste…

Sourdough Starter with Cheese Cloth

Sourdough Starter with Cheese Cloth

The yeast causes a lactic acid fermentation process that not only helps to preserve the sourdough bread, but increases its nutritional value by:

  • pre-digesting starches, making the bread more easily digestible
  • lowering insulin response/improving glucose tolerance
  • protecting Vitamin B1 from the damage of the heat of baking
  • breaking down gluten, which may result in a bread that gluten-sensitive people can eat
  • activating phytase to hydrolyze (dissolve) the phytates, thus freeing up minerals such as:
    • zinc
    • iron
    • magnesium
    • copper
    • phosphorus

Sourdough rye is the most nutritious of them all, because it has more phytase activity and thus even fewer phytates in the finished product to bind to your minerals. I just love that the traditional phrase “sourdough rye” turns out to be scientifically proven as the healthiest bread. Somehow our ancestors figured out all the good stuff without the benefit of labs!

Prof. Terry Graham and his team of researchers at the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences found that eating sourdough bread for breakfast had a profound positive effect on digesting your breakfast as well as on digesting your lunch even though the bread was consumed hours prior.  The enzymes in the bread created during fermentation changes the nature of the starches in the bread, creating a more beneficial bread.  This is is also promising to assist overweight people in losing weight.

According to and article in Keeper of the Home, sourdough bread is rated 68 on the Glycemic Index (GI) whereas other breads are rated 100.

According to Mark Sircus Ac., OMD, International Medical Veritas Association, sourdough bread as “the staff of life,” for it enhances the entire immune system. He further suggests that sourdough bread can stop the growth of cancer without killing it.

REFERENCES:

Health Benefits of  Sourdough Bread

Sourdough Bread Has Most health Benefits

Sourdough Bread and Health

Honest Pumpernickel Bread

 

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com and http://www.mamavega.com/blog

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

 

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    Sourdough Bread Healthier than Wheat? – Healthy Never Tasted So Good | Healthy Never Tasted So Good

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