Einkorn 

Einkorn wheat is amazing. It is the most ancient wheat (over 12,0000 years) and arguably the best wheat for many reasons. Einkorn wheat is hardy, drought tolerant, and naturally resistant to pests, making it a naturally sustainable and regenerative food source, unlike modern wheat that requires vast amounts of chemical inputs and is easier to grow and gives higher yields. Einkorn almost went extinct since it only yields one fifth of what modern wheats produce. Einkorn is so worth the effort to grow and produces health benefits that are huge and might be the answer to the gluten problems of today.

Einkorn has the highest amount of protein of any grain, is rich in vitamins and essential nutrients, and has a different type of gluten - all of which make it far superior to many of the grains we consume today. All wheat that we consume today is descended from einkorn wheat which has about 14 chromosomes as compared to other wheat which has 28-42. This is important since some studies show that ancient wheat, with its fewer chromosomes, has lower levels of gliadins. Gliadins are proteins that can cause sensitivities in those who struggle with gluten. Gluten is defined as a stretchy protein that is left behind after starch is washed away from a wheat flour dough. When you consume bread, the gluten proteins break down into smaller units called peptides, which are strings of amino acids. Certain proteins in most wheat products have been found to cause harm to those with sensitive guts.

Before Gluten Was a Problem

Einkorn has some unique properties that make it better for those with allergies to wheat. Modern wheat has been crossed with two different goat grasses. Goat grasses contain the D genome, which is the source of most gluten intolerance. Einkorn does not contain this troublesome D genome, only the A genome, and most testing for gluten intolerance is based on the D genome. And while einkorn does contain gluten, it is a different type of gluten and allows for easier digestion and nutrient absorption. Einkorn has 50% less phytic acid than regular wheat which also wreaks havoc on people's guts.

Dr. Davis, who wrote the book Wheat Belly, talks about problems with wheat in today's society (he doesn't talk about slow fermented sourdough breads). He did talk about einkorn and how different it was compared to conventional wheat. He even tested himself on bread made with einkorn wheat. He has severe wheat allergies and found none of these symptoms when he ate the einkorn bread that he personally made. He also found  a much lower blood sugar response as compared with regular bread (see below).

The Many Benefits of Einkorn 

Einkorn sandwich sourdough

Lower Blood Sugar Response

One cup of whole grain wheat flour has about 87 carbohydrates. One cup of whole grain einkorn flour has about 51 carbs.  So, there is quite a difference. It has the most protein of any grain, and einkorn does not spike the blood sugar as quickly as modern wheat.

Dr. Davis wrote this in his book Wheat Belly after testing himself on einkorn bread, “Blood sugar at the start: 84 mg/dl. Blood sugar after consuming einkorn bread: 110 mg/dl.” Regular wheat bread “sugar at the start: 84 mg/dl. Blood sugar after consuming conventional bread: 167 mg/dl.”

“I was impressed with the difference in responses to the ancient wheat and the modern wheat in my whole wheat bread. Surely something odd was going on here. My personal experience, of course, does not qualify as a clinical trial. But it raises some questions about the potential differences that span a distance of ten thousand years: ancient wheat that predates the changes introduced by human genetic intervention versus modern wheat.”

~ Dr. Davis

einkorn sourdough6

Einkorn Feeds Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli

Einkorn flour contains prebiotics that feed important species of bacteria in our gut.  These prebiotics found in einkorn directly impact the bifidobacteria and lactobacilli bacteria in our gut causing them to grow and multiply. Research indicates that including einkorn in the diet could support a greater diversity of health-promoting bacteria. In addition, this increase in specific species of intestinal bacteria helps maintain the intestinal mucosa that feeds akkermansia that is responsible for keeping the gut lining healthy.

einkorn baked

Einkorn High in Protein — Vitamin A, B6 and Zinc

Einkorn wheat contains 30% more protein than modern wheat and more than any other grain. Einkorn can provide 36% of our RDV for protein and that's a lot for a grain.

It is especially rich in lutein, "the eye vitamin." Several lines of einkorn have been shown to contain 3-8 times more lutein than common wheat. It has a slightly orange color due to the high beta carotene and I have even found it will change the color of your stools to an orange color. That's a good thing - we all need more vitamin A from natural sources.

Einkorn also has lots of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is responbile for normal brain development and for keeping the nervous system and immune system healthy. It is essential for nerve health. B6 is often used as a therapy in treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. It needs zinc to work properly and einkorn also has a lot of zinc.

einkorn starter

Short Chain Fatty Acids & Diabetes

And here's another interesting finding - studies have found that ancient wheat like einkorn decreases cell production relating to glucose and fat metabolism, and also helps prevent or delay diabetes development while increasing digestion and nutrient absorption. It was also found to help with overall gut health.

Consumption of einkorn bread led to enrichment in short-chain fatty acid producers such as BlautiaFaecalibacterium, and Oscillospira) in the gut microbiota which creates a higher metabolic diversity. [1,2,3,4]

Resources For Einkorn 

 Einkorn Sourdough Starter

Check Out My Einkorn Recipes

Listen To My Podcast

Einkorn wheat is amazing. It is the most ancient wheat there is, and it has amazing benefits including a different type of gluten that allows most people with wheat allergies to consume it with no problems. It is very helpful for those with blood sugar issues and so much more. Tune in to learn more about this ancient bread.

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