Allergies, Bioavailability, and Nutrition Some things to think about…

n order to establish healthier eating patterns, many nutrition-conscious people are changing their eating habits to include more grain and less meat.

For some people this works just fine. Others, though, have a range of “borderline allergies” they aren’t even aware of which under ordinary circumstances cause them no trouble. Something like a change in diet can, however, tip the scales and trigger a reaction. From then on, it’s all downhill. Even foods which previously caused no trouble can suddenly be “in your face,” causing swelling, sneezing, congestion, and the much-dreaded sinusitis. This is not an uncommon syndrome – you probably know someone yourself who has gone through most of life allergy-free, only to develop serious reactions to a whole host of foods and airborne particles in mid-life.

Stresses such as these can sap your strength fast, leaving you with less energy to fight major threats such as viruses, bacteria, environmental toxins and cancerous cells.

Grain should be an important component of everyone’s diet. But when choosing grain, take into consideration two important issues: 1) Potential Allergies and 2) Nutrition.

Most persons with wheat allergies can eat Spelt, probably because of the relative ease with which it is digested. Even people with serious allergies who for years have avoided bread, pasta, pancakes, muffins and many other delicious foods have discovered they can enjoy Spelt. The good news is it is every bit as flavorful as wheat-based products, and way more nutritious. Spelt provides a balanced source of protein because it contains all of the eight essential amino acids – in fact two plates of Spelt pasta provides you with all of your daily protein requirement.

Consider, also, that the energy in Spelt is “complex carbohydrates” – basically a long chain of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of glucose molecules. From a nutritional standpoint, this long chain of energy-packed molecules is important because it digests slowly compared, for example, to table sugar and many other “refined” products. This makes the energy in Spelt available over the long haul and accounts for its use for “carbohydrate loading” by athletes before competition.

So why is all of this true? Where does Spelt get its vitality and “edge?”

Maybe the answer rests in the fact that Spelt is a natural grain – one which has been around for thousands of years. It hasn’t been hybridized over and over again to make it yield more per acre. It is naturally resistant to insect pests and diseases such as the “rust” which so often pervades wheat crops. In fact, an association representing wheat growers lists rust prevention and increased yield as their main objectives – never once mentioning either flavor or nutrition.

In short, Spelt is grain the way nature made it. It may or may not be because we didn’t try to fool Mother Nature, but the end result is a grain that is more flavorful, more nutritious, and easier to digest.

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