If you are a bread lover and you have tried different pieces of bread in search of the sweetest one, then you must have tasted sourdough bread. This old favorite bread has recently risen in popularity. Its moist and chewy texture with unrivaled delicious, slightly sour tang puts it above most regular bread.
Apart from its tastier nature, there is another reason most people love sourdough breads – health. Some even say that it is easier to digest, and it is less likely to spike your blood sugar than other common bread.
However, is there any truth in all these claims? Is this just another baseless hype on a ‘healthy’ food product that we commonly meet on the internet? Let’s take a closer look at the evidence for these claims. Read along to find out what is true about the healthy benefits of bread.
Sourdough vs. Regular Bread
When baking leavened bread, the dough is made to rise to give it a soft texture that we enjoy. One of the ways of raising a dough is using yeast as a raising agent. Yeast will work in the starch to produce a harmless gas that raises the dough. Most commercial bakers use yeast to make the common bread.
Unlike regular bread, sourdough is leavened with wild yeast (sourdough starter). A sourdough starter is a culture of yeast and beneficial bacteria that naturally occur in bread flour. These naturally occurring bacteria allow the flour to ferment for approximately five days. The fermented bread (the levan) is mixed with bread flour to make sourdough bread. You can bake this bread using individual bread flours or a combination of flours such as wheat and rye.
Why Sourdough Bread?
Are you wondering whether you should go for sourdough bread or not? Here are four reasons why you should prefer a genuine sourdough bread over other regular bread:
- It is more Nutritious.
Sourdough made from whole-wheat flour is rich in nutrients and traces of essential minerals such as iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium. Additionally, its unique fermentation process is cutting edge when it comes to nutritional value. Wholegrain flour is naturally rich in B vitamins, vitamin E, other minerals, and antioxidants.
The absorption of these minerals is limited by phytic acid (Phytate). Phytates are considered anti-nutrients since they bind to the minerals hence reducing the body’s ability to absorb them.
Interestingly, the lactic acid bacteria found in sourdough bread lower the bread’s pH, degrading phytates. Therefore, sourdough has a lower phytate content than any other type of bread. The body will easily absorb the minerals when you make sourdough bread compared to other bread.
- Sourdough Bread makes gluten more digestible.
Lab analysis shows that sourdough bread has lower gluten content than regular bread. Sourdough makes the gluten in the wheat grain more digestible. The long fermentation period pre-digests the gluten, breaking down some of the indigestible proteins making the bread easier to digest. According to the study, the quantity of gluten in natural wheat sourdough may vary depending on other factors such as fermentation. However, there is no scientific proof that the quantity of gluten in the sourdough loaf is safe for gluten intolerant people. Nonetheless, it is still way healthier compared to normal wheat bread.
- Sourdough Bread beats the bloat.
Many people may find it hard to digest commercially produced bread since it causes IBS symptoms, including bloating and wind. Most people will blame wheat/gluten for this condition. However, in many cases, it is more to do with the speedy production process of bread that leaves a lot of work for digestion due to the high FODMAP content. FODMAPs are certain types of protein that are hard for the body to digest.
However, the long slow fermentation process of sourdough bread breaks down these carbohydrates in the wheat, thus making them easier to digest by the body. By taking sourdough bread, you will avoid the unpleasant symptoms caused by improper digestion, allowing you to enjoy your bread.
You have all the reasons to try sourdough breads. Its taste is unrivaled, compared to the regular bread. Additionally, its numerous health benefits make it the best choice if you are after healthy food. However, do not just go for any bread in the name of sourdough. Consider a well-baked bread that is given enough time to ferment. That is what we make.
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