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Is Spelt Flour Healthy?

by
author image Andrea Cespedes
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.
Is Spelt Flour Healthy?
Bowl of spelt grains Photo Credit HandmadePictures/iStock/Getty Images

Spelt flour, an ancient relative of wheat, is appearing in more and more mainstream products, such as bread, cereal and pasta. It is available in both white and whole-wheat versions. Spelt flour provides a number of nutrients and can be a healthy part of your diet.

B Vitamins

Spelt flour is a source of several B vitamins. In 38 g, the amount in one slice of 100 percent spelt bread, you get more thiamine, riboflavin and niacin than you do in the same amount of wheat bread. These vitamins help you convert food into energy and support production and function of red blood cells.

Fiber

One cup of raw spelt provides 19 g of fiber, while a slice of spelt bread contains 2.5 g of fiber. Fiber is essential to keeping your digestive tract healthy, and it plays a role in helping to lower cholesterol. The Institute of Medicine recommends that adult women 50 and younger eat at least 25 g of fiber daily, and that adult men get 38 g daily.

Trace Minerals

Spelt flour contains 1.36 mg of iron in a 38 g serving. Iron is essential for transporting oxygen in your body and for cell growth. Without enough iron, you may become fatigued and suffer from a condition known as iron-deficiency anemia, which can cause general feelings of illness. Adult women should get about 18 mg daily, while should get men 8 mg. Spelt also provides the trace minerals zinc, copper and manganese, all of which support immunity and healthy bones.

Digestibility, Calories and Tolerance

Some people find that spelt is an alternative that they tolerate better than wheat. It is also slightly lower in calories than wheat – with 126 calories per 38 g, compared to wheat’s 140 calories. Spelt is related to wheat and contains gluten, so it is not appropriate for people with diagnosed allergies or celiac disease.

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