Bread has been a staple of the human diet for thousands of years, with a recent study dating it back nearly 15,000 years to be exact.
Made from different types of wheat, grains, and fermented starter cultures, bread has long been known as a gourmet food or health food in certain circles, but it has gotten a bad rap in recent years.
Instead of being made, fermented and baked from scratch, most store bought breads are now packed with preservatives, genetically engineered ingredients and oils like soybean and canola, and dough conditioners like DATEM, sodium stearoyl lactylate, ammonium chloride, monoglycerides, diglycerides, all of which have been linked to health problems of their own.
The bad news is that our bread simply isn’t what it used to be, for myriad reasons.
The good news is that authentic, fresh-baked bread made from healthy fermentation cultures is making a comeback, especially sourdough bread, which could be the healthiest and most easily digestible bread on the market based on published research that is now shedding light on its incredible health benefits.
Why Sourdough is Healthier Than Most Other Breads
A proper sourdough bread starts with an organic sourdough starter culture like this one, and is fermented in a glass sourdough starter jar prior to being baked.
This process is slower and done more meticulously than how industrial-scale bakeries make their breads, and it’s just one of the reasons why homemade or small-batch sourdough bread is generally healthier than traditional bread.
In simple terms, a sourdough bread starter is an active colony of wild yeast and healthy bacteria created by combining flour and water and allowing it to ferment.
This bread leavening agent allows the dough to rise naturally without the use of an emulsifiers or dough conditioners, making for a healthier loaf of bread than you’ll find on most store shelves.
This culture of healthy bacteria acts as a prebiotic substance, supporting gut health and making for a mineral-rich and highly digestible form of bread that may mitigate the negative effects of gluten. Studies have also shown that it has less gluten than other types of bread.
Sourdough Benefits: Increased Mineral Content, Lower Glycemic Index and More
Recently Joe Leech, a dietitian for AuthorityNutrition.com, shared research on nine different studies from the National Institutes of Health demonstrating sourdough bread’s benefits for blood sugar regulation, digestion, and more.
Aside from these benefits, sourdough bread also contains less phytic acid than traditional store bought breads, allowing for better nutrition absorption when eaten, including higher levels of soluble magnesium.
Considering that magnesium is one of the most important minerals for better metabolism, deeper sleep, relaxation, and preventing potentially dangerous cardiac-related health events such as strokes and heart attacks, it goes without saying that this is an incredible benefit of sourdough bread as well.
- (Side Note: If you’re looking to supplement with magnesium, this is the one I recommend because of its purity and potency).
For more information on the aforementioned benefits and studies on sourdough bread, check out Leech’s video below, and let us know what you think about it in the comments section of this article.
I typically eat sourdough bread from local bakeries that use organic ingredients, and do my best to find sourdough bread made from organic sourdough starter cultures like this one whenever possible.
Until next time, happy breadmaking, and stay healthy out there!
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