A balanced diet is the foolproof path to better health. So, are you following a proper diet or are you just digesting anything that interests you? Certainly, you are having a meal of your choice, but can you replace your regular bread with the one that will truly profit your health?
However, all types of bread are quite similar in terms of nutrients, but Ezekiel Bread is the healthiest bread in the market. Whereas, wheat bread, whole grain bread, and oatmeal bread fall in the range of 70 to 80 calories per slice & 2 to 4 grams (g) of protein, 1g of fat, and 11 to 14g of carbs. The element that makes this one better than the other is ‘fiber.’ The content of fiber per slice in wheat bread, oatmeal bread, and whole grain bread is 1g, 1.1g, and 2g respectively, which is less as compared to the stats of the Ezekiel Bread (1).
On the other hand, being the richest in fiber, Ezekiel bread is the one that will make a difference in your lifestyle. It is a healthier snack when compared to the other types of bread (2). So, if you are interested in knowing more about its health benefits, continue reading this article.
Nutrition Facts of Ezekiel Bread
Ezekiel Bread is god’s gift, as it’s recipe is directly taken from the Bible (Ezekiel 4:9) itself, ”And you, take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt, and put them into a single vessel, and make bread of them (3).” Its ingredients are far more superior than any other bread, which makes it even more interesting and nutritious. Below are some Ezekiel Bread nutrition facts:
Based on serving size 1 slice (34g)
- Protein: 4g
- Calories: 80
- Vitamin B1 Thiamine: 8%
- Niacin: 6%
- Phosphorus: 8%
- Fiber: 3g
- Added Sugar: 0%
- Sodium: 3%
- Iron: 4%
- Potassium: 80mg
- Carbohydrates: 15g
Having gone through the sprouting process, grains have transformed into a better form which means they are more nutritious than before. Furthermore, it is naturally balanced as it contains 18 amino acids that include all the 9 amino acids viz. histidine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, phenylalanine, methionine, tryptophan, threonine, and valine that are not developed by the human body (4).
All the ingredients mentioned in the Ezekiel 4:9 are organically grown and then sprouted. Finally, the processing, mixing, and baking parts come, which ultimately leads to the final product.
Note: Gluten is present in wheat, barley & spelt, hence, people who are sparring with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease must not consume it.
Reasons Why Seeds are Sprouted
The sprouting process starts with the soaking of the seeds for several hours. Then, draining is done after which they are rinsed, and if the seed has still not germinated, the process is repeated.
Grains like Wheat or Maize have proteins, genes, and enzymes that can transform into an entire plant. When the seed starts to germinate, a complex biochemical process starts in which the seed sends its buds into the surface of the earth through its shell. As the soil is nutritious and has a sufficient amount of water, the seed grows into a beautiful and healthy plant (5).
2. Prevent from Enzyme Inhibitors
A seed that begins its journey as a future plant is called a sprouted seed. Sometimes, due to an unfriendly atmosphere, enzyme inhibitors stop the sprouting process until all the essential elements required to carry on the process are available to the seed. If you can provide the right amount of water & temperature to the seed, the enzyme inhibitors will stop preventing the process and will let the seed sprout (6).
3. Reduce the Effect of Anti-Nutrients in Legumes and Grains
The anti-nutrients – Phytic Acid in grains and trypsin & lectins in legumes – disable the process of digestion in animals and humans. These anti-nutrients can cause negative effects on the consumer’s health, as they absorb all the nutrients available in the plant and obstruct the digestion of all the digestive enzymes (7).
For instance, raw soybeans have proteins also known as protease inhibitors that prevent certain enzymes from functioning properly. Therefore, consuming soybeans in a raw state can obstruct the pancreatic enzyme elastin that chops proteins in small elements, making it easier for digestion.
Cooking can only make the legumes and grains esculent. It cannot entirely terminate the anti-nutrients present in them. Therefore, other processes like sprouting, soaking, fermenting are practiced to lower the percentage of the anti-nutrients present in the plants.
How Sprouting Make Grains Healthier?
As the process of sprouting starts, the percentage of healthy nutrients increases while the percentage of unhealthy anti-nutrients decreases. The soaking and germination of the seeds for approx 7 days boost the amino acids & sugars and lower the dry weight and starch. Sprouting also improves albumin and globulin, plus reduces prolamin. Besides, the germinated grain showed an increased protein content. Furthermore, tryptophan, lysine, and non-protein nitrogen contents were also heightened by the act of germination (8).
Lysine is an essential amino acid which is highly required in a human diet. Sprouting can increase the lysine content in the plants, which will ultimately soothe the process of digestion in a human body. Proteins in sprouted beans are in much higher quantity than in raw beans. The result is also positive for all the other nutrients such as folate, vitamin C, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin B-6.
Sprouting wheat also shows a great positive effect on the fiber, vitamin C & E, folate, and Beta-Carotene (9). The process also chops down the starch as the seeds utilize the energy from the starch to continue the sprouting process.
Hence, lesser carbs are found in the sprouted grains as compared to the raw ones (10). Ultimately, due to the sprouting of the seeds, Ezekiel bread can be concluded as a bigger source of nutrients in comparison to the other types of bread.
How Sprouting Counters Anti-Nutrients & Enzyme Inhibitors
1. Phytic Acid
Phytic acid is present in the layers of the seeds, which can reduce a large percentage of iron in our body. Therefore, when the plant seeds are sprouted, the level of phytic acid is reduced (11).
2. Trypsin Inhibitors
Bowman-Birk and Kunitz are the two trypsin inhibitors present in the legumes. They separate protein from the amino acids and let the amino acids be digested by the body. Meanwhile, Trypsin obstructs the protein digestion. Hence, sprouting is done to reduce 15-65% of the trypsin available in the legumes. Moreover, boiling can also be done to minimize the volume of trypsin (12).
The length of the sprouting process positively affects the reduction of lectins from the grains or beans (13).
4. Enzyme Inhibitors
They do not allow the germinations of the seeds in an unfriendly atmosphere. So, the sprouting process helps disable them and restart the germination process (14).
Wheat and Health Issues Related to It
Lately, wheat has stepped in as a fine cause for some of the health issues found in the humans. And being a prime ingredient of Ezekiel bread, it may be of sheer concern to the people who are sensitive to gluten. Let’s take a note on it:
- Sprouting has no effect on the gluten present in the wheat or barley, hence, Ezekiel Bread still remains full of protein, which further makes it easier for the digestive system of our body. The availability of gluten in wheat makes it unsafe for the people who are highly sensitive to it. It can also lead to increased intestinal permeability, digestive issues, etc.
- Deficiency of vitamin D can be caused by the fiber present in the wheat, as it enables the body to burn the stock of vitamin D at a much faster rate.
- In controlled trials, the consumption of wheat has played a significant role in the cases of schizophrenia, cerebellar ataxia, epilepsy, and autism, which indicates some individuals are a victim of these diseases due to the gluten present in wheat (15).
- Whole wheat is another reason for a drastic increase in the small, dense LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. Hence, a heightened risk of heart disease (16).
- Wheat can quickly raise the blood sugar level in the body, which can be highly harmful to the human body (17).
Sprouting does not eradicate the negative traits of wheat, but it does subdue it in some manner. So, if you can consume gluten and are free to intake carbs, then Ezekiel bread is the ideal bread for you, which is going to make you a healthier person.
Being a sugar-free bread, it is a 100% better product than any of the other types of bread available in the stores near you. Or, you can also make Ezekiel Bread at home.
Recipe for Ezekiel Bread
Homemade food items are always the healthier as we always use the best quality of ingredients. So, below is the list of the items required for the making of the Ezekiel bread at home.
- Sprouted Spelt Grains – 260 g / 1½ cups
- Sprouted Wheat Berries – 400 g / 2½ cups
- Sprouted Millet Grains – 100 g / ½ cup
- Sprouted Barley Grains – 90 g / ½ cup
- Sprouted Green Lentils – 44 g / ¼ cup
- Sprouted Organic Soy, Mung, Lupin, and / or Other Starchy Beans – 75 g / 6 tbsp.
- Honey or Coconut Blossom Nectar/Syrup – 14 ml / 1 tbsp.
- Lukewarm Water – 900 ml / 4 cups
- Olive Oil – 110 ml / ½ cup
- Salt – 6 g / 1 tsp.
- Active Dry Yeast – 14 g (2 packets) / 1½ tbsp.
Note: All the quantities are for dried ingredients.
1. First of all, preheat the oven to 175°C / 350°F.
2. Take a grain mill or a blender and process legumes and grains, which will give you the flour. You can take the flour out in a mixing bowl.
3. Take another bowl, in which you have to put water, olive oil (80 ml / ⅓), honey, yeast, and the flour (120 g / ½ cup). Mix them together properly, and keep it for 15-20 minutes until it looks fluffy.
4. After that, you have to add the rest of the flour along with the salt to the blend. Stir until its looks like a batter for cake or cookie and better than the standard dough for bread.
5. Put the batter mixture in two pans of 9×5-inch / 23×13-cm, which will be first greased with oil. Then, keep it in a warm corner for an hour until it starts to rise.
6. Now, the pans will be kept in the preheated oven and baked for around 50 minutes or until the loaves turn golden brown.
Wrap it tightly and store it in a cool, dry place. It can be kept unrefrigerated for a maximum of 3 days and refrigerated for 2 weeks. The freezing must be done in a flexible storage condition.
Yields: 45 slices (per slice – 1 cm thick / ⅜ inch )
Nutritional Information Per Slice:
- Total carbohydrates – 11 g
- Fiber – 2 g (carbohydrates – 9 g & sugars – 0.8 g)
- Protein – 3 g
- Fat – 3 g
- Sodium – 55 g
Know Ezekiel Bread as a Health Benefactor
People who eat random or regular bread don’t know about the damage they are causing to their bodies. To hone their sense, here are some facts about the health benefits provided by the Ezekiel bread.
1. Aids in Weight Loss
Everyone knows that consumption of bread makes people fat, but not in the case of Ezekiel bread (18) (19). The glycemic index or GI of the Ezekiel bread is low, which means carbohydrates take more time to turn into simple sugars. Hence, the digestion is done at a slow pace, and you won’t feel like eating in between the meals (20), which may further help you lose weight.
2. Prevents Coronary Disease
3. Keeps Blood Sugar Level Low
4. Fetal Development
As the bread is a good source of nutrition and can be easily digested, a pregnant woman can happily eat it. It will provide her with all the essential nutritions like folate, iron, protein, calcium, copper, magnesium, and zinc as sprouting separates the enzyme inhibitors (24). On the other hand, it keeps her from having increased blood sugar levels and provides more of energy.
5. Gastrointestinal Health
In comparison to white wheat or whole-grain bread, sprouted-grain bread induces more secretion of glucagon-like peptide- 1 (GLP), which has inhibitory effects on the Gastrointestinal (GI) motility (25) (26). Therefore, Ezekiel bread is good for intestinal health.
6. Energy Booster
Since Ezekiel bread is prepared by sprouting the grains, it boosts the absorption of non-heme iron in the blood and provides energy to the body (27).
Ezekiel bread is made of the healthiest grains and legumes, all thanks to the sprouting process. But, one thing that you should keep in mind is, the bread doesn’t carry as much nutrition as vegetables and pulses do. So, don’t forget to eat a proper diet along with Ezekiel Bread. It is just an alternate eaten along with the food that needs to be consumed on the daily basis.