Not only do Ancient strains of wheat 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. While these facts are important to those who struggle with digestive problems relating to wheat., another factor less popular to discuss than the influence of gluten, may be actually be more important to digestive health.
Negative digestive reactions to wheat are very likely as much a result of how the grain is processed as its constitual elements. For example, the grain in most commercial wheat products is conventionally stripped of its slower-to-digest elements, the bran, kernels etc. This is all done in order to make the product softer and more consistent in texture, and to preserve its shelf-life during long-distance distribution. Unfortunately, it is precisely the slow to digest elements in the grain that are what is required to keep the body from digesting them too rapidly, transforming their carbohydrates into sugar.
Additionally, when consuming sugary processed wheat products, high levels of fermentable short-chain carbohydrates ( FODMAPS) are produced which can cause gastrointestinal problems as they pass through the digestive tract. The relatively unnatural digestive process produced by consuming processed foods, much like the rapid absorption of alcohol, has its consequences.
Alternatively, whole unprocessed grains that the body can absorb more slowly, especially if they are of an ancient unaltered variety, are replete with characteristics of vitality no longer extant in many commercialized varieties of wheat that are bred to make soft bread, stand consistently in straight rows, grow only to a designated height, or manifest uniformity during cultivaton.
“And where is there among you the one who here, on this very earth, tastes in its wholeness the sanctity with which the sky that we breathe in, pervades at each instant your bread and wine .”
– O.V.de L. Milosz
In the Pantry