Without initially intending to produce a ‘health food’ we have been gratified by the degree to which our clients have drawn our attention to some significant benefits discussed on our additional health pages.
VITAMINS & MINERALS
Organic stoneground flour and traditional breadmaking processes maximise vitamins and mineral content in bread. In addition lactobacilli present in long fermentations improve the ‘availability’ of important minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc by neutralising phytic acid which otherwise inhibits the absorption of these valuable minerals and trace elements.
Modern roller mills remove the wheatgerm from the flour resulting in significant depletion of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and zinc.
Coeliac disease is a serious reaction to gliadin a gluten forming protein present in wheat and (in smaller quantities) in Rye, barley and oats. It is generally treated by complete avoidance of gluten.
The fact that coeliac disease was first diagnosed in 1950 and that a much larger group complain of less severe forms of wheat intolerance, allergy, bloating or just mild discomfort leads one to wonder why this scourge has sprung up in a period when bread consumption has fallen more than half.
There is widespread concern that aspects of modern breadmaking, most likely the accelerated fermentation process, miss out an important transformative element in traditional long fermentations. Specifically in 2002, Italian scientists were able to demonstrate that it was possible using traditional long fermentations to produce bread that could be tolerated by coeliacs. They showed that lactobacilli naturally present in the fermentation could neutralise the wheat gliadins.
We do not claim that any of our bread is suitable for coeliacs but it is clear that a large number of our clients who cannot eat ‘factory bread’ because it makes them feel uncomfortable, get on very well with ours. It seems most likely that the transformative effect of lactobacilli in long fermentations is the explanation.
GLYCAEMIC INDEX FOR DIABETES, BAD BOYS & THE REST
The glycaemic index measures the speed at which a particular food raises blood glucose levels. Diabetics are well aware of the benefits of foods with a low glycaemic index which maintain stable blood glucose levels over many hours. The same issue is relevant to children and to the rest of us because foods with a high index can encourage mood swings, tiredness, irritability and aggression as well as a craving for sweet tasting food. Sourdough and wholemeal bread have the lowest glycaemic index and processed white bread the highest.
We are very proud that a local School for boys with special needs is now one of our best clients for our loaves.