What are the properties of spelt: health benefits and contraindications?

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Spelt or spelt wheat (Triticum spelta) is a type of wheat that has gained much fame in recent times due to its nutritional properties and the increase in the consumption of breads and other products made from spelt wheat.

However, the use of this type of wheat dates back to ancient times, as there are references to its use in Ancient Egypt and even in China. In the Middle Ages, it was also frequently consumed by the upper classes.

This type of cereal provides a large amount of energy, as well as containing nutritional properties that are highly valued in a healthy and varied diet, as it provides carbohydrates, fibre, proteins, vitamins B1 and B2 and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and zinc.

On the other hand, spelt contains 15% protein, which is also of high biological value because it contains an essential amino acid called lysine.

Its high fibre content means that spelt helps digestion and improves intestinal transit. In addition, it also favours weight control, as it is a satiating food and therefore helps to calm hunger and prevent overeating.

It should be borne in mind that, like other wheat, it has gluten, although this is more soluble in water, which makes it easier to digest than wheat.

Its mineral content, such as silicon and magnesium, means that spelt contributes to tissue repair and strengthens the immune system. The magnesium content also helps to relieve headaches and stress.

As you can see, spelt has great health benefits, more so than other types of wheat, but it is also contraindicated for some people.

This is the case for people with coeliac disease, as spelt contains gluten. In fact, it is recommended that this food be eliminated from the diet of people with coeliac disease. The treatment of the disease is the lifelong elimination of gluten from the diet. Wheat, barley, rye, spelt, triticale, kamut and oats should be excluded.

It is true that spelt is much lower in gluten than other wheats, but it still contains gluten and is not suitable for coeliacs. Similarly, it cannot be consumed by people with any kind of wheat allergy or food intolerance.

In addition, for other diseases or ailments related to the digestive system, such as irritable bowel syndrome, it is not advisable to consume spelt in some cases.

As always, it is important to be aware that the abuse of a particular type of food, however healthy it may be, is never good. As all excesses are bad, it is best to opt for a healthy and balanced diet, with a variety of products and without abusing or obsessing over any of them.

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