Time to Wheat


Grown on more land area than any commercial food is wheat. With rice, wheat is the world’s most favoured staple food. Staple food is any food that is routinely eaten in quantities that constitute a dominant portion of a diet in a given population. Other examples of staple foods are tuber or root crops, grains, legumes and other seeds.

Most of these staple foods contain some essential nutrients which are beneficial for various metabolic activities in the body.

Nutrient content of some major staple foods

Staplefoods/ Component/100g
Maize
Wheat
White Rice
Soybean
Yam
Cassava
Energy(KJ)
1528
1369
1528
615
494
670
Protein(g)
9.4
7.9
7.1
13
1.5
1.4
Fat(g)
4.74
7.9
0.66
6.8
0.17
6.28
Carbohydrates(g)
74
71
80
11
28
38
Fiber(g)
7.3
12.2
1.3
4.2
4.1
1.8
Calcium(mg)
7
29
28
197
17
16
Iron(mg)
2.71
3.19
0.8
3.55
0.54
0.27
Magnesium(mg)
127
126
25
65
21
21
Zinc(mg)
2.21
2.65
1.09
0.79
0.24
0.34
Copper(mg)
0.31
0.43
0.22
0.13
0.18
0.1
Manganese(mg)
0.49
3.99
1.09
0.55
0.4
0.38
Selenium(µg)
15.5
70.7
15.1
1.5
0.7
0.7
Folate(µg)
19
38
8
165
23
27
Niacin(mg)
3.63
5.46
1.6
1.65
0.55
0.85


Considering the table above, wheat contains the highest level of iron after soybean. Wheat also contains high levels of various other essential nutrients. It contains the highest levels of Selenium (an antioxidant that helps protect cell from damage) and Zinc (helps immune system work properly). Though wheat has a relatively high amount of iron, some other components of wheat such as gluten and phytic acid inhibits the absorption of iron from wheat by the body. Phytic acid forms an insoluble precipitate with iron released from iron-rich foods; making iron unavailable to the body. Sprouting, lactic acid fermentation and cooking can break down the phytic acid. Hypothetically, probiotic Lactobacilli may be a source of phytase (an enzyme) that can also break down the phytic acid.

Gluten can damage the lining of the small intestine in patients of celiac disease (an autoimmune disease of the small intestine). This inhibits the absorption of iron and other nutrients in same patients. Patients with celiac should take only gluten-free foods to avoid being iron deficient.

 

 

 

References



http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/gluten-free-diet/art-20048530
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