There’s a plethora of choices of breads for us to choose from – sprouted, grainy, squirrelly, rye, whole wheat, white, spelt and other gluten-free grains… to name but a few.
My #1 bread recommendation is…
As you’ve probably gathered by now, I love the health benefits we get from probiotics (those friendly bacteria), and some of the most powerful foods we can include in our nutrition plan are the fermented/cultured foods. Sourdough is a fermented food. As a result, most people can digest sourdough better than ordinary commercial breads. Those good ‘ole bacteria even help us make a sandwich! The process of fermentation is what contributes to the wildly delicious taste and texture of this amazing bread.
In the making of sourdough bread there are special, specific sourdough bacteria that predigest the flour, in turn this releases some important micronutrients giving a little added nutritional bonus. One study (Lopez et al, 2001) demonstrated that the slow fermentation of wheat can reduce phytates (a hard to digest compound) by up to 90%! Studies have also shown that rye flour added to sourdough can help regulate blood sugar levels. Awesome.
According to uBiome.com “Bacteria play a big part in fermentation… That’s certainly the case with sourdough bread. A landmark study of sourdough in 1970 identified a bacterium in it that had never been found in nature before. It was given the name Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis in recognition of San Francisco being the true, original home of sourdough.”
The ingredients in Sourdough? Simply flour, water and salt – the other unnatural ingredients that commercially produced bread use are not necessary. Industrially manufactured breads rely on enzymes, preservatives, emulsifiers to bake their bread. These additives are also to blame for some people’s intolerance to wheat.
Feel like running out to buy a loaf? Keep in mind that not all sourdough is made the same, the fermentation time and process really matter. Aim for quality in your sourdough and avoid bakeries that short-cut the unique fermenting process.
Photo Credit: seriouseats.com