Grains

ancient-grain-pyramid

Nourish your blood with the wheat of affirmation.
- O.V. de L. Milosz

Ancient strains of wheat are generally known to contain lower levels of gluten than conventional varieties. Some, like Khorasan wheat, grown organically as KAMUT™ brand,  have also been shown to cause less inflammatory reactions in the digestive tract. Interestingly, these reactions may turn out to be as much a result of the process of cultivation as the variety and nature of the grain itself.

There are many types of seeds, (grains are the seeds of grasses) and many ways of processing them as food. The grain in most wheat products, for example, has been stripped of its slower-to-digest elements, bran, kernels etc. in order to make it more soft and consistent in texture, and to preserve its shelf-life during mass distribution. Unfortunately, these "slow" elements are precisely what is needed to keep the body from transforming the grains carbohydrates too quickly into sugar during digestion.

In eating highly processed wheat it may not be the gluten itself that is the concern. Most mass-produced wheat products today also contain high levels of fermentable short-chain carbohydrates, collectively known as FODMAPS which have been shown to cause gastrointestinal problems.

Lesser-processed, slowly fermented wheat products offer a path to both sensual enjoyment and healthy digestion. Getting into the habit of baking more wheat products for oneself, or at least eating more fresh-baked goods made with minimally-processed whole grains can be a big part of the solution. Letting wheat sprout before baking is also quite helpful, as sprouting reduces the gluten content.