Spelt is one of the oldest cultivated crops in human history and is believed to have first been used between 7,000 and 8,000 years ago. Spelt is a variety of grain or cereal that is closely related to wheat. In fact, spelt likely developed from a hybridization of emmer wheat and wild goat-grass. It is closely related to normal “bread” wheat, but the popularity of bread wheat soon made spelt obsolete, which is why it is considered a “relic” crop. However, it is making a comeback as a health food, particularly in Spain, the United Kingdom, and other parts of Europe. It is actually packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and essential organic compounds that other cereals and forms of wheat don’t contain, which is why it’s making a comeback!
Some of the health benefits of spelt include its ability to help in regulating the body’s metabolism, aid in the creation of sex hormones, increase circulation, build strong bones, improve the immune system, boosting digestive function, lowering blood sugar, and reducing cholesterol levels in the body.
The very high fibre content of spelt means that it facilitates healthy digestion in a major way. Dietary fiber helps to bulk up your stool and move food through the digestive tract, speeding up the absorption of nutrients and helping to reduce conditions like constipation, bloating, cramping, excess gas, and more serious gastrointestinal issues. Spelt has one of the highest dietary fiber contents of wheat varieties.
Spelt has an impressive range of essential minerals for bone health including zinc, magnesium, copper, phosphorous, and selenium. It’s also high in iron, copper and niacin. Niacin plays a key role in the adrenal glands in the body, particularly in the production of sex hormones. The endocrine system is a sensitive and hugely important aspect of our health and general functioning, so maintaining healthy niacin levels by adding spelt to your diet is a wise choice.
Spelt flour is particularly preferred in making bread crusts or flatbread pizzas, as the wheat will harden without becoming tough or leathery like other varieties of wheat. So try replacing your normal baking recipes with Spelt to give you and your family a healthier option.
Spelt is not gluten free and should be avoided if you are gluten intolerant or have Celiac disease.