Here at Average Joe’s we have been mad for EzEkiel bread for quite some time now, and it is often one of the first changes we will suggest when looking at a clients weekly nutrition. But why?
In basic terms, Ezekiel bread is as healthy as a bread gets. It’s a type of sprouted bread, made from a variety of whole grains and legumes that have started germinating (sprouting). Compared to white bread, which is made of refined wheat flour, Ezekiel bread is much richer in healthy nutrients and fiber.
What is Ezekiel bread?
Ezekiel bread is different for several reasons:
- Whereas most types of bread contain added sugar, Ezekiel bread contains none.
- In contrast to most commercial breads, which consist primarily of refined wheat, Ezekiel bread contains several different types of grains and legumes: 4 types of cereal grains (wheat, millet, barley and spelt) and 2 types of legumes (soybeans and lentils).
- All the grains and legumes are organically grown and allowed to SPROUT before they are processed, mixed together and baked to produce the final product.
What does SPROUTING do?
- Even though grains like wheat or corn look simple on the outside, they contain enormously complex molecular machinery. There are genes, proteins and enzymes that can turn a tiny seed into an entire plant.
- When the grain receives the right signals, a complex biochemical process begins. The seed starts germinating, breaks through the shell and sends sprouts up into the air and roots into the soil.
- With enough water and nutrients in the soil, it eventually turns into a plant. A sprouted seed is somewhere between being a seed and a full-fledged plant.
- But there’s one thing you need to keep in mind: the seed doesn’t sprout unless the conditions are favorable. By giving the seed the right signals, mainly hydration (water) and the right temperature, it will start to sprout.
Q: Why is SPROUTING important?
A: Grains and Legumes contain antinutrients.
- There’s another important thing to keep in mind: most organisms don’t want to be eaten. Grains and legumes are no exception. To get their genes to the next generation, they need to survive. Most plants produce chemicals to discourage animals from eating them. Some of these function as antinutrients.
- Antinutrients are substances that can prevent the absorption of nutrients and inhibit digestive enzymes.
- While antinutrients don’t adversely affect health in most people, they can contribute to vitamin and mineral deficiencies in people who rely on legumes or grains as a dietary staple.
SUMMARY: Sprouting reduces antinutrient levels in grains. Antinutrients are substances that can prevent the absorption of nutrients.
Sprouting increases the number of healthy nutrients.
Sprouting reduces the number of antinutrients.
How does SPROUTING increases nutrients?
- Due to the sprouting process, Ezekiel bread may contain more of some vital nutrients. Studies show that sprouting grains increases their lysine content.
- Also, combining the grains (wheat, millet, barley and spelt) with the legumes (soybeans and lentils) may somewhat improve the protein quality.
- Studies also show that sprouting wheat may lead to significant increases in soluble fiber, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene.
- Sprouting also partially breaks down the starch, since the seed uses the energy in the starch to fuel the sprouting process. For this reason, sprouted grains have slightly fewer carbohydrates.
- By sprouting the seeds, Ezekiel bread should be more nutritious than most other types of bread.
Ezekiel bread is available in many supermarkets and health food stores. We at Average Joe’s source our Ezekiel products (including wraps and baps) from Mistletoe Bakery, Jesmond.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that wheat is still the number one ingredient in Ezekiel bread. Although sprouting may decrease the levels of gluten slightly, people with gluten intolerance need to avoid Ezekiel bread and other types of sprouted bread that contain wheat, barley or rye.If you’re not gluten-sensitive and not on a carb-restricted diet, then Ezekiel bread can be a healthier choice.
Ezekial bread is certainly a lot better than 99% of the breads on store shelves, which are usually made from refined wheat and often contain lots of sugar.