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Spelled wheat is a rich source of B vitamins - riboflavin, niacin and thiamine, as well as iron, manganese, copper and the amino acid tryptophan. In addition, spelled, compared to ordinary wheat, contains a greater amount of protein.

Spelled is an ancient variety of wheat that has been forgotten for many decades and has not undergone any modifications, therefore it is considered to be a much he althier grain than common wheat. The cultivation of spelled is now starting again due to the growing interest in he alth-promoting foods.

Orkisz - origin and cultivation

Spelled (Triticum spelta), also traditionally called spelta, is an ancient variety of wheat, and its proper name is spelled. It is considered a he althier variety of common wheat. This grain was widely cultivated from the Bronze Age (c. 3400 BCE - c. 1200-750 BCE) and was very popular in Europe until the Middle Ages.

The earliest archaeological discoveries about spelled date back to 5,000 BC. and they were made in the Black Sea region of Transcaucasia. Probably from these regions, spelled spread to the territories of Central Europe, where in the areas of present-day Germany and Switzerland it was the most commonly cultivated grain. Approx. 500 BC Spelled began to be cultivated in Great Britain.

Spelled was cultivated until the 20th century. From then on, it began to be gradually replaced by common wheat, which was easier to grow and gave higher yields. In the 1970s, spelled was practically no longer cultivated and replaced by improved common wheat.

In the US, re-attempts to bring this grain to the market began in 1987, seeking he althier food. In 2007, spelled was cultivated in Europe on 18 thousand. hectares, and in Poland on 200-300 hectares, mainly on organic farms.

On the other hand, the cultivation of wheat in Poland in a similar period covered 2.3 million ha. Spelled is a grain that has not been genetically modified or its structure has not been interfered with. Hence the growing interest in this grain on the part of supporters of a he althy lifestyle and the so-called clean food.

Currently, you can buy spelled preserves more and more, mainly in the "bio" and "eco" departments of supermarkets and in online stores. Their price is, howevereven 3-4 times higher than that of common wheat products.

Nutritional value of spelled

A cup of cooked spelled (194 g) provides 246 kcal, contains mainly complex carbohydrates, but at the same time it is a very good source of protein, dietary fiber, manganese (106% of the recommended daily allowance RDI), phosphorus (29% RDI), magnesium (24% of the RDI), zinc (22% of the RDI), iron (18% of the RDI), and vitamin B3 (25% of the RDI).

It also contains small amounts of calcium, selenium, vitamins B1, B6 and E. Spelled and wheat have a similar content of vitamins, minerals and phytosterols.

Spelled belongs to the same family as wheat, but its supporters emphasize that it has not been subjected to any modifications, therefore it does not have a negative effect on the body similarly to wheat. Spelled grains look different from wheat grains, grains have different DNA and nutrient profiles.

Spelled is characterized by a higher protein content than wheat and an extremely nutritious aleurone layer in the grains. The composition of amino acids is different from that of wheat proteins, spelled contains a lot of lysine and methionine (essential and non-human amino acids provided with the diet) that are lacking in wheat.

Spelled proteins have a different molecular structure, they are more brittle and more easily soluble, therefore they are better absorbed in the digestive tract. Approx. 80% of spelled proteins are gluten proteins (glutenin and gliadin), which are present in different proportions than wheat.

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Gluten in spelled

Due to the presence of gluten, spelled may be as inadvisable as wheat for people suffering from celiac disease and gluten intolerance. However, reports mainly from the areas of holistic medicine and naturopathy show that spelled gluten does not cause negative effects and worsening of well-being even by sick people. Probably the body's reaction to spelled is very individual and depends on the level of gluten intolerance in a given person.

Macronutrient content in spelled and wheat

Starch [% DM dry matter]6362
Sugars [% DM]3,32,2
Carbohydrates [% DM]66,566,1
Total fiber [% DM]14,910,9
Soluble fiber [% DM]11,29,3
Insoluble fiber [% DM]1,71,7
Protein [% DM]14,915.6
Gliadin to glutenin ratio2: 13,5: 1
Fat [% DM]2,12,5
Sterols [μg / g DM]528-959527-963

Vitamin and mineral content in spelled and wheat

Calcium [mg / 100 g]3427
Iron [mg / 100 g]5,44.44
Magnesium [mg / 100 g]90136
Phosphorus [mg / 100 g]402401
Potassium [mg / 100 g]435388
Sodium [mg / 100 g]28
Zinc [mg / 100 g]3,53,28
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) [mg / 100 g]0.40,364
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) [mg / 100 g]0,10,113
Vitamin B3 (niacin) [mg / 100 g]4.86,843
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) [mg / 100 g]0.40,230
Folic acid [μg / 100 g]4145
Vitamin A [IU]910
Vitamin E [mg / 100 g]10.79
Vitamin K [μg / 100 g]1,93,6

He alth benefits of consuming spelled

Many of the positive he alth effects of spelled are due to the presence of fiber, especially the soluble fraction. The content of minerals and some vitamins is also important. Similar benefits may come from eating whole grains of other grains.

The distinguishing substance of spelled isrodanide- a compound with a natural antibiotic effect, which is also found in blood, saliva and breast milk. Rodanide stimulates the immune system, protects the breastfed baby against infections, influences blood production and the proper growth and development of the young organism. Consuming spelled can be beneficial in many ways:

  • regulating the rhythm of bowel movements thanks to the presence of dietary fiber, which increases the volume of the stool, faster passage of food through the intestines, prevents constipation and is helpful in excessive flatulence;
  • reducing the risk of colorectal cancer by shortening the contact of fecal masses with the intestine and the time for toxins to penetrate into its cells;
  • lowering the level of cholesterol in the blood, which is influenced by the high content of soluble fiber and niacin, which also inhibits the action of free radicals from oxidized cholesterol;
  • reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular incidents;
  • Improves blood circulation and reduces the risk of anemia due to the high content of iron and copper - elements involved in the production of red blood cells. A greater number of red blood cells allows for better oxygenation of cells and tissues, an increase in energy levels, faster metabolism and an overall better well-being.
  • influence on the endocrine system through niacin necessary for its functioning, especially for the production of sex hormones;
  • stimulating the immune system by thiamine in case of inflammation and chronic stress, and suppressing the negative effects of these conditions;
  • control of blood sugar and body weight through fiber, which slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and prolongs the feeling of fullness after a meal.
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Author: Time S.A

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Other ancient wheat varieties

emmer (farro)- one of the oldest grains cultivated as early as 9-10 thousand years BC in Egypt, Palestine and Mesopotamia. It gave rise to durum wheat and spelled. It has a much harder cover than modern wheat, contains more minerals and he alth-promoting antioxidants. May be protective and prevent gastrointestinal cancer.

kamut- is an ancient variety of durum wheat. It was grown mainly in Egypt and Mesopotamia. It has twice the grain and contains much more protein than common wheat. It is rich in selenium, zinc and magnesium. Gourmets will appreciate its nutty aftertaste.

einkorn- used to be cultivated from the Atlantic to Persia. It is very resistant to weather conditions and grows even in mountainous areas. Einkorn is rich in carotenoids, hence products made of it have a yellowish color. It contains up to 35 times more vitamin A than common wheat, and is also rich in amino acidsexogenous.

Use of spelled

Spelled has a slightly sweetish taste and a nutty aroma, which can be its great advantage. Most good bakeries offer spelled bread and rolls. The grain of the spelled is processed similar to other grains. It can be used in the kitchen in the form of spelled flakes and semolina, similar to popular oat flakes, and mixed with nuts and fruit to compose muesli.

Spelled groats , which contains a lot of fiber and protein, will be a great addition to the main course. It is best to rinse it beforehand to remove impurities and boil 1 glass of groats in 3 glasses of water on a slow fire until the liquid is completely absorbed.

Spelled flouris perfect for baking bread, tarts and muffins. Spelled flour is available both wholemeal (e.g. type 1850, 2000) and light, made of grain free from bran (e.g. type 405, 650). In some stores, especially online, you can buy spelled pasta and crisps, crackers, pretzels, rusks, crispbread, spelled wafers and various types of cookies.

Spelled is even made into coffee, which is available in a granular, ground and instant form. The methods of various uses of spelled in the diet and numerous recipes are presented in the publications on the diet of St. Hildegardy - a medieval nun who promoted a diet based on spelled as a guarantee of a long and he althy life.


1. Escarnot E. et al., Comparative study of the content and profiles of macronutrients in spelt and wheat, a review, Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Societe et Environnement, 2012, 16 (2), 543-256

2. Kohajdova Z. et al., Nutritional value and baking applications of spelt wheat, Technology Alimentaria, 2008, 7 (3), 5-14

3. Biel W. et al., The influence of selected agronomic factors on the chemical composition of spelt wheat (Triticum aestivum ssp. Spelta L.) grain, Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2015, 1, 1-7

4. West H., What is Spelt, and is it Good For You ?,

5. SELF Nutrition Data, Wheat soft white, uncooked Nutrition Facts and Calories

6. SELF Nutrition Data, Spelt, uncooked Nutrition Facts and Calories

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