Spelled: benefit and harm

Image by Anna Sulencka from Pixabay

The mention of spelled can be found in the Bible. However, at present, not everyone knows about the existence of such a cereal culture. It is more popular among those who follow the figure or follow a diet for medical reasons.

Spelled is the progenitor of modern wheat, its wild ancestor. It tastes slightly nutty. Today, not only porridge is prepared from spelled, but also bread, various pastries, and even yogurts.

The history of the appearance of spelled in nutrition
The spelled presumably originated in the Mediterranean, where a mild climate prevails with hot summers and an abundance of rainfall in winter. Archaeological research indicates that this cereal was cultivated already in the 6th century BC in the vicinity of Mount Ararat.

Spelled was considered the most valuable culture in Babylon, Ancient Egypt, and Ancient Greece. It was also highly appreciated by the Romans, who sacrificed spelled products during one of the most sacred rituals – the wedding ceremony.
In Slavic countries spelled, according to various sources, first appeared in the 5th or 2nd century BC, but gained the greatest popularity in the 18th century. A favorite and affordable dish in those days was spelled porridge. A little later, cereals began to be used as a side dish, it was in this form that it came from our country to Europe and the United States, where it is still considered a primordially Slavic product.

This type of wheat is unpretentious, resistant to bad weather, weeds and pests, does not require special care, and grows by itself. And yet, in the 19th century, modern wheat gradually began to replace it.

The thing is that the spelled ear itself is fragile, and the grains protected by adherent scales must be threshed out of it. The harvester cannot cope with this task, it only breaks the ears and grinds the grains into dust, therefore, on an industrial scale, the yield of spelled is low. At the beginning of the 20th century, new varieties of wheat with a hard ear and coarse grain were bred by the method of selection, which replaced wild cereals and are massively cultivated to this day. And yet, in recent years, spelled has attracted more and more attention and is gradually returning its popularity, because it is an incredibly useful and even unique product.

The benefits of spelled
The main advantage of spelled is the preservation of all useful properties even with very fine grinding. The cereal contains vitamins K, E, PP, as well as B vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B12), and the amount of protein reaches 32% and includes 18 amino acids necessary for human health. In addition, spelled contains nicotinic and silicic acids, which have a beneficial effect on the nervous system and maintain vascular health, and folic acid, which is valuable for pregnant women. The culture is a real storehouse of fatty acids, fiber, macro, and microelements – phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, selenium.

Thanks to this unique composition, spelled improve the functioning of the digestive system, lowers the level of harmful cholesterol, strengthens the muscular system, stabilizes hormones, and helps to strengthen the immune system and the nervous system. Dishes made from this cereal are useful for people with diabetes mellitus, as the trace elements contained in it control the release of insulin and glucose in the body, reducing the surges in blood sugar. The presence of folic acid in the composition has a positive effect on the health of the reproductive system of women. And for men, spelled is useful for the content of niacin, which promotes the production of testosterone. The high level of fiber in spelled improves food digestion and normalizes the digestive tract. In addition, fiber prevents the build-up of dangerous cholesterol, which lowers the risk of developing hypertension.

Caloric content per 100 grams 127 kcal
Proteins 5.5 g
Fat 1.5 g
Carbohydrates 25 g

The calorie content of spelled is low, so it is worth paying attention to those who are losing weight and athletes. Today, there are various spelled-based diets, adhering to which extra pounds can be lost precisely due to body fat, and not due to muscle mass.

Spelled harm
Despite the undeniable benefits of spelled for the body, there are a number of contraindications to the use of this culture.

As in wheat, this cereal contains gluten, so its use is dangerous for people with individual intolerance to this substance and celiac disease. It is also not recommended to include spelled in the diet in the presence of allergic reactions to cereal products, in the acute period of intestinal disorders, peptic ulcer disease, in the case of a diagnosis of intestinal obstruction. Spelled meals should be limited to children under 3 years of age, as the high fiber content can cause diarrhea, bloating, upset stomach, and abdominal pain.

The use of spelled in cooking
The first dish that comes to mind when you mention spelled is, of course, porridge. Spelled is also used in soups and side dishes – from simple to atypical risottos and poke. Pancakes, pies, and bread are baked from spelled flour. Spelled goes well with meat and vegetables, so it is suitable for both meat-eaters and vegetarians. Raw foodists can also eat sprouted spelled as a stand-alone dish or add it to salads.

How to choose and store spelled?
As with the purchase of any other cereal, when choosing a spelled, first of all, you need to pay attention to the integrity and tightness of the package, the amber color of the grains, and the shelf life. It is best to store cereals in a cool dark place in a closed container, ideally in a glass container in the refrigerator. In any case, the container should be kept out of moisture and direct sunlight.

To prevent insects from appearing, you can put a clove of garlic, lemon peel, hot pepper, or bay leaf in the container, and a bag of salt will help get rid of moisture.

The shelf life of spelled is 12 months, but it is better to store it no more than 8 months. The storage temperature should be no higher than 20 degrees.

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