An anti-inflammatory grain

  • 30 Sep 2014
  • Reading time 4 mins
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Wheat promotes inflammation

When you gain abdominal fat, known as visceral fat, it triggers, or is part of the body’s inflammatory response mechanism. This, in turn, makes you both more likely to become intolerant or allergic, and to develop inflammatory symptoms, the classics being headaches, eczema or dermatitis, asthma, irritable bowel diseases such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, rhinitis, arthritis and just about any ‘itis’.

While the general view is that ‘gluten’ is the culprit I am beginning to revise this simplistic opinion due to a series of experiments carried out on Kamut brand khorasan wheat. Technically it does contain gluten proteins and, as such, should promote inflammation. However, it doesn’t. In one rat experiment a series of well conducted studies now published in 3 papers have shown that Kamut brand grain is not only anti-inflammatory but it is also has a powerful antioxidant effect.

I am starting to think that the main problem with wheat is not gluten or gliadin per se, but the fact that we are eating a food that is considerably different genetically and chemically, to that which we may have adapted to eat in reasonable quantities. The solution for ‘wheat intolerant’ people may not always need to be a strict avoidance of wheat and other gluten or gliadin grains, but rather the avoidance of modern wheat.

Gluten is present in wheat, rye, barley and oats, although oats contain no gliadin. Spelt is probably a less adulterated form of modern wheat, but is quite different and genetically much more complex than the original ancient grain, such as kamut. Kamut is also higher in antioxidants and polyphenols, which are generally anti-inflammatory, as well as magnesium, potassium, selenium, iron, zinc and other important minerals. Kamut, unlike spelt, is only grown organically, with no exposure to modern chemicals, in other words in conditions that most closely represent those we may have adapted to over the thousands of years of wheat consumption, from the early days when mankind moved from hunter/gatherer to peasant/farmer.

Ancient Kamut brand wheat is anti-inflammatory

In another a randomised double-blind study on people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), carried out by researchers at the University of Florence in Italy, the participants were given foods (bread, pasta, biscuits, and crackers) made from either modern wheat or Kamut. They didn’t know what kind of food they were eating and were randomly assigned to eating either modern wheat products or kamut products for six weeks at a time and then after a 6 week wash out period the type ......

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