Ezekiel bread is the healthiest bread you can get. It is a type of bread that is sprouted and is made using legumes and whole grains that have just begun sprouting (also known as germination). Compared to regular white bread which is created using wheat flour that is refined, Ezekiel bread contains more fiber and healthy nutrients. But are marketers’ claims true? Is it the healthiest form of bread? Before we try to answer this question, we need to first look at what Ezekiel bread is.
This form of bread is different from others for several different factors. While the majority of other forms of bread will have some added sugar, Ezekiel bread does not contain any. Ezekiel bread is also made using whole grains that are sprouted and organic. The process of sprouting can significantly have the nutritional composition of grains changed or altered. Compared to other bread that are commercially available which are primarily made up of wheat that is refined or whole wheat that is pulverized, the said healthy bread has different types of legumes and grains instead which include 2 forms of legumes (lentils and soybeans) and 4 types of cereal grains such as spelt, barley, millet, and wheat.
These legumes and grains are grown organically and made to sprout before their processing and then combined before baking to come up with finished products. Spelt, barley and wheat are not gluten-free so those who are going gluten-free, those with intolerance to gluten, or those suffering from celiac disease should steer clear from Ezekiel bread.
Sprouting: What Can It Accomplish?
While some grains such as corn and wheat can look externally simple, these contain molecular machinery that is pretty complex. There are enzymes, proteins, and genes that can convert the small seed into a full-sized plant. Once the grains get the right signals, a biochemical process is initiated. The seeds will undergo the process known as germination and will see the shell breaking through, sending sprouts high up and the roots deep in the soil. With water in adequate amounts, the seed will eventually bloom into a full-grown plant.
A seed that is sprouted can be classified as being between a full-fledged plant and a seed. However, it must be noted that the aforementioned seeds will not undergo sprouting or germination unless favorable conditions are present. Through the right signals to the seed, water and hydration, and the right temperatures, the seed can begin sprouting
Antinutrients: Found In both Legumes and Grains
Another point to take note of is that a majority of organisms do not want to be consumed. Legumes and grain are no different. To ensure that their gene pool reaches into the next generation, the said legumes and grains will require survival. Plants excrete chemicals that can lead to animals getting discouraged when it comes time to consume them. These chemicals are referred to as antinutrients. These are substances that can lead to the prevention of the nutrients get absorbed and lead to the inhibition of enzymes for the digestive process.
An example of this would be soybeans. Because of inhibitors to the enzymes, soybeans when raw are considered toxic. Even when a majority of legumes and grains may be eaten after cooking, processing the foods won’t be able to have all the antinutrients eliminated. A lot of populations that are non-industrial across the globe can consume grains without any concerns. However, most of these societies utilize preparation methods that are traditional such as cooking, fermenting, sprouting, and soaking to reduce antinutrients significantly.
As a whole though, these antinutrients do not have any health effects that are unhealthy. One example is the presence of phytic acid is a potent antioxidant that can grant numerous health effects that are beneficial particularly for seeds and grains.
Sprouted Grains: Are They Healthier?
Sprouting entails having the grains soaked in water and having them germinate which can lead to numerous biochemical reactions. The benefits can come in a two-fold package. Sprouting can increase the number of nutrients that are healthy and it can also lead to the reduction of antinutrient numbers.
Sprouting can lead to an increase in nutritional content and because of this, Ezekiel bread can have more nutrients that are vital. There is also evidence to suggest that sprouting can increase the levels of tyrosine in grains. The amino acid lysine can be found in a lot of plants in levels that are low. The levels can be increased by having plants sprouted which can then have the nutritional value of the plant-based items increased particularly seeds and grains.
Also, having the grains combined with legumes such as lentils and soybeans may improve the quality of the protein somewhat. Some studies point towards an increase that is significant in terms of beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, folate, and soluble fiber. Sprouting can also lead to the partial breakdown of the grains’ starch content as the seed will utilize more energy to be used by the process of sprouting as a form of fuel or energy source. As such, grains that are sprouted have slightly fewer carbohydrates.
Sprouting seeds can lead to Ezekiel Bread to become much more nutritious compared to a majority of other bread.
Sprouting and Antinutrients
Grains that are sprouted also contain reduced levels of antinutrients which are substances that can lead to the inhibition of mineral absorption. Sprouting can also have gluten amounts reduced. Gluten is a form of protein in which individuals can experience intolerance for grains such as barley, rye, spelt, and wheat. Due to reduced antinutrients, Ezekiel bread can give individuals nutrients in higher amounts compared to grains that are not sprouted. However, it must be noted that Ezekiel bread still contains gluten which means that certain individuals with gluten intolerance or those who want to go gluten-free should avoid this kind of bread.