The benefits of spelled

The benefits of spelled

What is spelled?

Spelled is an ancient grain native to Mesopotamia, which has been around for thousands of years . More recently, its popularity has also grown in Italy. Not only does it taste great , but it also boasts many health-promoting properties . It is rich in fiber , protein , vitamins , minerals and antioxidants . Spelled is a valid alternative to refined cereals and can be easily added to the diet.

Contrary to popular belief, spelled does not refer to one type of grain , but is often used to describe three different grains:

  • Einkorn:  Small spelled, scientifically known as  Triticum monococcum
  • Spelled:  Medium spelled, scientifically known as  Triticum dicoccum
  • Spelled:  Large spelled, scientifically known as  Triticum spelta

The type most commonly found in Europe is spelled. It is sold dry and prepared by cooking it in water until it is soft and chewy. Before it is cooked it has an ear similar to that of wheat, but closer to barley . The light brown grain is small in size and has a thick outer layer of bran .

It is an excellent cereal to alternate in the diet with popular cereals such as rice , quinoa , buckwheat and barley. It can be eaten on its own or as an ingredient in dishes such as stews, salads and soups. It can also be added to fruit and eaten as granola for breakfast .

Nutritional properties

Spelled is an extremely nutritious cereal. It is an excellent source of protein, fiber and nutrients such as magnesium (required for strong bones , optimal immunity, healthy nerves and muscle function and to maintain a regular  heartbeat ), zinc (essential for a healthy immune system and wound healing as well as to break down carbohydrates during digestion ) and some B vitamins , such as vitamin B3 ( niacin ), which helps break down and convert food into energy. It’s a much healthier alternative to white rice or other refined grains.

Fifty grams of organic whole spelled contain:

  • Calories :  170
  • Carbs :  34 grams
  • Fats:  1 gram
  • Fiber:  5 grams
  • Protein:  6 grams
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin):  20% of the RDI
  • Magnesium:  15% of the RDI
  • Zinc:  15% of the RDI
  • Iron :  4% of the RDI

It also helps regulate blood glucose levels and is linked to improved insulin sensitivity.

Fiber content

Modern diets are generally low in fiber. Just one cup of whole spelled can provide  20% of the recommended daily intake of fiber . The health benefits of a high-fiber diet include a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease , among others . Fiber has also been shown to help prevent spikes in blood sugar levels and may even help lower total and LDL cholesterol, as well as improve digestive health . First, some types of fibers can benefit the bacterial florainestinale and prevent or solve constipation .


Aloe supplements can also be useful to improve intestinal function .

Antioxidant properties

Whole grains contain a wide range of antioxidant compounds, such as polyphenols , carotenoids , phytosterols and selenium . All three grains associated with farro (spelt, einkorn and farro) are excellent sources of polyphenols, carotenoids and selenium . Several studies have found that long-term consumption of diets rich in plant polyphenols can protect against diseases, including some types of cancer , heart disease, diabetes , osteoporosis and neurodegenerative diseases .

Protein content

Spelled is an excellent source of protein. Its protein intake is similar to quinoa but higher than brown rice and whole wheat. When combined with other plant-based foods such as legumes , farro offers a complete protein source . This means that it provides an adequate amount of essential amino acids that are important for health.

Studies have shown that high-protein foods help prolong feelings of satiety. This is partly because protein causes a decrease in hunger hormones . A 12-week study found that when 19 overweight women ate a high-protein diet, they ate up to 440 fewer calories per day and lost up to 4.9 kg.

Additionally, getting enough protein is essential for gaining muscle mass and providing particular benefits for heart health . This is mainly because a high-protein diet helps  reduce blood pressure and LDL cholesterol , two major risk factors for heart disease.

Uses in the kitchen

Spelled is generally sold dry and cooked in water until the grains become soft and chewy. It is usually available in whole, pearl and semi-pearl varieties. Wholemeal spelled contains more fiber and retains all its nutrients. Semi-pearl farro has some of the bran removed, while pearled varieties have no bran at all.

The one benefit of pearled or semi-pearl farro is that it cooks faster and doesn’t require soaking overnight like the whole-wheat version. Pearl spelled cooks faster, in about 15-20 minutes. Semi-pearl (no soaking) cooks in about 25 minutes, and whole grain varieties take about 30 to 40 minutes (plus overnight soaking).

Spelled is also available in different degrees of bran: long, medium or broken, and is used in the preparation of salads, soups or for breakfast as muesli or as a substitute for oats or porridge .


Spelled is wheat, therefore, it naturally contains gluten . This means that it is not suitable for people with celiac disease . Spelled is often thought to contain lower levels of gluten than modern wheat, and many people think ancient grains are safer for people with gluten-related conditions. If spelled is soaked overnight and sprouted, it is more tolerable and easier to digest for anyone sensitive to gluten.



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