Bread is a staple food, yet increasingly more people have trouble digesting it. I know countless people who have given-up eating wheat for health reasons. Instead, they are buying gluten-free bread, which is quite expensive, very small, and frustratingly different to traditional bread.
The fact is bread is not meant to be this way! Traditionally bread was fermented, just like cheese, wine, surplus vegetables, and milk. There was good reason for doing this as fermentation not only preserves food, it changes the whole chemical composition, making it more readily digestible, and safer to eat.
It is so safe that through scientific testing, long fermentation sourdough loaves were considered a gluten-free food, even though they contain wheat — a food containing gluten.
This is the magic of lacto-fermentation, a skill of the old-world that is fast making a re-emergence for its health benefits.
Watch this video to discover seven benefits of eating sourdough bread. These benefits hold strong even if you are gluten or wheat-sensitive.
Here are six reasons to enjoy sourdough:
1. Contains less, or no phytin
Phytin or Phytic Acid is sometimes referred to as “anti-nutrients” because they prevent the absorption of essential nutrients, such as minerals during digestion. In the long term, this can lead to health problems such as anaemia in women, and a calcium deficiency that is detrimental to both children, and the elderly.
2. Contains less or no gluten
Enzymes in the fermentation process actively break-down the gluten in dough. After baking is complete, there is significantly less, if not any gluten left. This makes bread easier for celiacs, or the gluten-sensitive, to stomach. However, this depends on the fermentation time.
2. Is a probiotic
During the magical lacto-fermentation process, millions of helpful bacteria feed on the natural sugars in wheat. By eating them, you improve the biome of your stomach. This works much like how sauerkraut, kefir or yoghurt does. With a healthier biome, you will notice stronger immunity, stabilized moods, and the ability to better absorb nutrients in your food bringing vibrant health!
3. Is a weight loss food
Sourdough helps you to lose weight, and maintain a healthy weight with its low Glycemic Index (GI) due to the fermentation process. Lower GI foods take longer to digest; therefore, the body needs to make less insulin to deal with the sugar spike, which is good news is you are diabetic or pre-diabetic.
4. Is cheap if you make it yourself
Sourdough is a bit costly, compared to quick-rise loaves. It is now considered an artisan bread, and takes a long time to rise, which impacts on baker costs. But, if you take up the challenge to make your own, you can save a substantial amount each year. And, what a great skill to share with others!
5. Lasts longer
Sourdough keeps fresh longer, and does not go off, as fermented food acts as a preservative. The pH level is lower, therefore it will last longer, but not if your whole household gets a taste for sourdough!
6. Bread as it should be
There is good reason why the ancients did things the way they did. Yes, sourdough takes six times longer to rise than the 45 minute super-fast, super-gluten bread of today. But when you judge the end product, is there any comparison? Good things always come to those who wait.
Increasingly more people are giving up fast-food and choosing healthier, slower, more nutrient-dense food. They are not just doing this because it is fashionable, they are genuinely seeking to improve their health and feel better.
With real food, you can enjoy it twice — as you know it is serving health, not robbing it.
As with all advice, you should always check with your health-care professional before trying anything new.