My mom frequently presents seminars on the health benefits of grain. She hands out an information sheet after her sessions and I thought many more people could benefit from the information she has put together if I posted it on the web.
The information below was gathered from various books and articles my mom has read over the years. If you are not familiar with the health benefits of grain then you owe it to yourself to spend 5 minutes reading this summary:
The Heart of the Wheat
by Kathleen P Arthur
Sirach 39:26 Chief of all needs for human life are water & fire, iron & salt, the heart of the wheat, milk & honey, the blood of the grape and oil & cloth.
Revelation 6:6 A ration of wheat cost a day’s pay and 3 rations of barley cost a day’s pay.
Importance of eating bread daily – that is “real bread” – bread made from fresh milled flour:
Cravings for sugar diminished
A boost in energy
Facts about “the heart of the wheat” – or kernel of wheat
Sometimes called the wheat berry
The kernel is the seed from which the wheat plant grows
The world’s most important grain – ranks 1st among grains for its nutritional value
Each berry or kernel contains 3 distinct parts separated during the milling proces
Endosperm – about 83 percent of the kernel weight and the source of white flour
- contains the greatest share of protein – about 72%, carbohydrates & iron
- contains major B-vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin and thiamine
- a source of soluble fiber
Bran – a multi-layered outer coating is about 14 ½ % of the kernel weight, is included in whole wheat flour and can also be bought separately
- contains a small amount of protein
- contains large quantities of 3 major B vitamins, trace minerals
- contains primarily insoluble dietary fiber
Germ – hidden inside the kernel is the life of the seed – about 2 ½ % of the kernel weight, the embryo or sprouting section of the seed, often separated from flour in milling because the fat content (10%) limits the flour’s shelf-life – this fat is Vitamin E and the wheat germ is one of the richest sources of Vitamin E
- contains minimal quantities of high quality protein
- contains a greater share of B-complex vitamins and trace minerals
- can be purchased separately and is part of whole wheat flour
Of the 44 known essential nutrients needed by our bodies and naturally obtained from foods, only four (4) are missing from wheat – vitamin A, B12 and C, and the mineral Iodine.
As long as the bran is intact, and the grain kept relatively cool, dry and rodent or bug free the “seeds” will store indefinitely with no nutrient loss.
Once broken open or milled – the protection of the bran is gone and many of the nutrients now exposed to oxygen are lost by oxidation. In fact, once milled, as much as 45% of the nutrients are oxidized in the first day alone. In 3 days, just 72 hours later, 90% of the nutrients are lost.
Until the 19th century the use of white flour was confined to royalty or to the wealthy that could afford it. In Paris in 1876 the first light white French rolls were exhibited. The governor of Minnesota was in attendance at the exposition and determined that America must have the “benefits” of this discovery. He came back to America and developed the steel roller mills, which accelerated the separation process while grinding the grain into flour. Lacking the oil-laden wheat germ the new white flour was storable and therefore could be shipped long distances without becoming rancid. Eventually the small local stone mills went out of business and white flour and white bread became the food for the masses.
As the use of the white flour became more common, disease and illness relating to vitamin deficiencies rapidly increased – especially two B vitamin deficiency diseases – Beriberi and pellagra, as well as anemia due to lack of iron in this new “white” food. Health officials urged the milling industry to return the bran and germ to the flour, but the millers had developed a lucrative market for these “by-products” – the bran and germ were being used for animal feed to fatten chickens and cattle. The millers refused to return the bran and germ to the flour and instead chose to “enrich” the long lasting white flour.
Refined white flour is missing up to 80% of the nutrients found in the original wheat kernel and the fiber content is greatly reduced, and the protein though somewhat reduced has lost the amino acid lysine. The little Vitamin E remaining is destroyed when the flour is bleached to make it “whiter than white”.
Four (4) nutrients, iron and 3 B vitamins, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin have been artificially added to “enrich the refined white product, but some 25-30 nutrients have been either drastically or completely reduced. The enriched product remains deficient in fiber, protein value and 18 vitamins and minerals.
The most requested bread that my customers ask for is the Ezekiel Fasting Bread. – comes from the Bible in Ezekiel 4:9
Ezek 4:5-13 “For I have assigned you a number of days corresponding to the years of their iniquity, three hundred and ninety days; thus you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. “When you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah; I have assigned it to you for forty days, a day for each year. “Then you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared and prophesy against it. “Now behold, I will put ropes on you so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have completed the days of your siege. “But as for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt, put them in one vessel and make them into bread for yourself; you shall eat it according to the number of the days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days. “Your food which you eat shall be twenty shekels a day by weight; you shall eat it from time to time. “The water you drink shall be the sixth part of a hin by measure; you shall drink it from time to time. “You shall eat it as a barley cake, having baked it in their sight over human dung.” Then the LORD said, “Thus will the sons of Israel eat their bread unclean among the nations where I will banish them.”
Ezekiel Fasting Bread – complete protein – contains Hard Red Wheat, Spelt or Rye (in the Bible spelt was used), Barley (hulled – not pearl), Millet, Lentils (green), Great Northern Beans, Red Kidney Beans, Pinto Beans
There are many varieties of grains:
- Hard white wheat or hard red wheat (used mostly for yeast breads
- Soft white wheat – mills to a pastry flour that is low in gluten and good for making cookies, brownies, cakes and other baked goods
- Durham wheat – this wheat is used for making pizza dough.
Hulled Barley – possibly the oldest and most adaptable grain – contains 2-3 times the protein of an equal portion of rice, has 25% more protein and potassium, and almost twice as much calcium and 3 times as much iron as pearl barley, high in fiber, is a radio-protective food
used mostly for beer – and now days barley used for beer is usually genetically engineered
Job’s Tears – A heirloom barley grown in Japan, also known as (Hato Mugi), is chewy, easy to digest, eaten to dissolve excess protein and fat from animal food consumption, to clean up blemishes of the skin – in Japan considered like our “chicken soup – good for what ails you”
Spelt – a cousin of wheat – and contains manganese, fiber, phosphorus, B3 niacin, magnesium, protein and copper, as well as other nutrients
Rye – good for diseases of the circulatory system & will strengthen the digestive system – will cure almost anything that ails you – highest % of amino acid lysine, contains 11 B vitamins, Vitamin E, protein, iron & various minerals and trace elements – has a reputation for building muscle & promoting energy & endurance ***contains phytic acid which binds with and prevents the absorption of certain minerals and should be used with caution in infants and toddlers. Sprouting will eliminate the phytic acid
Millet – the smallest of the common grains – has the most complete protein & significantly more iron than other cereal grains – it is GLUTEN free – rich in amino acids, phosphorus & B vitamins – has a high alkaline ash content and is the easiest grain to digest.
Gluten-Free Grains – It’s important to note that gluten-intolerant people CAN eat whole grains. Gluten-free grain choices include Amaranth, Buckwheat, Corn, Millet, Montina (Indian Rice Grass), Quinoa, Brown Rice, Sorghum, Tef, and Wild Rice
**Oats are inherently gluten-free, but are frequently contaminated with wheat during growing or processing. Five companies (Bob’s Red Mill, Cream Hill Estates, Gluten Free Oats, Only Oats from FarmPure Foods, and Gifts of Nature) currently offer pure, uncontaminated oats. Ask your physician if these oats are acceptable for you.
Book – The Splendid Grain by Rebecca Wood
Mills – VitalMill Grain Mill or NutriMill Grain Mill
Places where I pickup or order online my grain in bulk (call ahead to place a bulk order)
-Health Foods Unlimited, 2250 Miamisburg/Centerville Road, Centerville, Ohio (937) 433-5100
-Apple Hill, RT 113 & Vermillion Rd., Amherst, Ohio (440) 965-7077
-Breadbeckers, Atlanta, Georgia, http://www.breadbeckers.com/store/pc/home.asp
– for Job’s Tears – naturallifestylemarket.com, North Carolina (800) 752-2775
How to organize your baking station so you can prepare a loaf of bread in less than 5 minutes:
Sirach 4:28 “Even to the death fight for truth, and the Lord your God will battle for you.” and from Sirach 37:15: Most important of all, pray to God to set your feet in the path of truth.