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Nutrient Changes Noted in Sprouted Wheat

German researchers sprouted wheat kernels for up to 168 hours (1 week), analyzing them at different stages to learn the effects of germination on different nutrient levels. While different times and temperatures produced different effects, overall the sprouting process decreased gluten proteins substantially, while increasing folate. Longer germination times led to a substantial increase of total dietary fiber, with soluble fiber tripling and insoluble fiber decreasing by 50%.
Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, June 13, 2007; 55(12):4678-83. Epub 2007 May 12.

Ancient Wheats Higher in Healthy Carotenoids

Canadian researchers from the Food Research Program, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada evaluated several primitive and modern wheat species, and found the highest levels of carotenoids including lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene in Einkorn. Durum, Kamut® and Khorosan had intermediate levels, while common bread or pastry wheat had the lowest levels of carotenoids.  The carotenoids studied are thought to be important to eye health, among other functions.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, February 2007; 55(3): 787-94

Less Allergenic Wheats Identified

Scientists in Shizuoka, Japan screened 324 varieties of wheat from around the world, in an effort to find varieties less likely to trigger allergies to gluten, gliadin, and alpha-amylase inhibitor. Einkorn, along with rare varieties from Mexico, Ecuador, China, and Italy, were found to be among the least allergenic.
Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology (Tokyo), June 2005; 51(3): 204-6

Magnesium May Explain Diabetes Benefits of Whole Wheat

It’s thought that foods with a lower glycemic index may improve insulin sensitivity. Yet whole wheat bread, with a glycemic index almost identical to bread made with refined wheat, has been found to promote insulin sensitivity when compared to the “white bread.” Researchers at Pantox Laboratories in San Diego, California, hypothesize that magnesium may be responsible, and urged “the strong desirability of choosing whole grain products in preference to refined grains.”
Medical Hypotheses, 2005; 64(3): 619-27

Whole Grains High In Antioxidants

Dr. Rui Hai Liu of Cornell and his colleagues discovered that whole grains contain protective antioxidants in quantities rivalling or exceeding those in fruits and vegetables. Corn, for instance, has almost twice the antioxidant activity of apples, while wheat and oats almost equal broccoli and spinach in antioxidant activity.
American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) International Conference on Food, Nutrition and Cancer, November 2004

Whole Grains Help You Weigh Less

A team led by Dr. Pauline Koh-Banerjee studied diet and health records of 72,000 men and found that those who ate 40 grams of whole grains per day cut middle-age weight gain by up to 3.5 pounds. Just one cup of cooked oatmeal or two slices of whole-wheat bread would provide this amount of whole grain.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 2004; vol 80(5):1237-45

Ancient Wheat Breads Digested Differently

Researchers at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, in Frederiksberg, Denmark, compared three different loaves: einkorn bread made with honey-salt leavening; naturally-leavened einkorn bread made with crushed whole grains; and commercial yeast bread made with modern wheat. The naturally-leavened einkorn loaves significantly reduced the gastrointestinal response of GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotrophic polypeptide), a hormone important in controlling insulin secretion.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 2003; 57(1):1254-61

Optimum Germination Conditions for Wheat

Scientists at the University of Alberta germinated wheat under various conditions to determine how to maximize the production of antioxidants.  First, they steeped the grains in water for 24 or 48 hours, then sprouted them in the dark for 9 days. Vitamins C and E and beta-carotene, which were barely detectable in the dry grains, increased steadiily during the germination period. Grains steeped for 48 hours became wet, sticky, discolored and acidic-smelling after germination, leading researchers to conclude that 24 hours of steeping and 7 days of sprouting would produce the best combination of antioxidant concentrations and sensory properties.
International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, July 2001; 52(4):319-30.

Wheat Flour Particle Size Doesn’t Affect Glycemic Response

USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, in Beltsville, MD, asked twenty-six healthy adults to consume four different samples: glucose solution, traditional white (refined) bread, conventional whole wheat bread, or bread made with ultra-fine whole wheat. The researchers then determined the subjects’ glycemic response, and determined that both whole wheat flours (conventional and ultra-fine) had similar effects. They concluded that “the particle size of whole grain wheat flour did not substantially affect glycemic responses.
Journal of the American College of Nutrition, December 1999; 18(6):591-7

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