For us Germans, bread is one of those foods that belongs on the table every day. Usually even twice – for breakfast and for dinner. The shape or the type of bread consumed often only plays a secondary role.
But the daily bread makes more and more people sick. Diarrhoea, flatulence, abdominal pain and other sometimes very painful symptoms are either ignored, not attributed to the bread or at most attributed to the gluten contained in the bread.
Those affected then often switch to another type of bread, ideally gluten-free. In such a case, many assume that it is solely due to the wheat or the gluten content that they got these symptoms.
But that is only half the truth and has now been confirmed by a study by the University of Hohenheim . Because what is generally declared as intolerance and increasingly leads to chronic diseases is not only due to the gluten or the wheat, which is no longer what it used to be anyway.
Amylase trypsin inhibitors cause inflammation in the gut
The wheat that grows in our fields today is no longer the original, but a sophisticated wheat. Bred to be more productive and more resistant to pests.
One could say that it is great if more wheat can be harvested per crop. But this cultivated grain contains not only gluten and FODMAPs but also amylase trypsin inhibitors, ATI for short.
This is a group of proteins that inhibit protein breakdown in grain and at the same time act as a natural defense against beetles and parasites. But what harms a beetle animal is also not particularly good for the human organism.
In preclinical studies there are indications that it is precisely these ATIs which repeatedly cause inflammation, especially in the intestine.
Because these proteins are obviously resistant to the natural protein digestion in the human intestine, can lead to leaky gut and promote autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis .
But the ATI’s alone are not the trigger for this intolerance and the resulting chronic inflammation. Or do you know reports from earlier human history in which people got sick from eating bread?
Admittedly, there used to be more oat or spelled bread, for example. Wheat was generally eaten less, as we know today. Sounds logical to me, because our ancestors didn’t put breakfast muesli and the like on the table.
So why does bread make us sick?
But why does today’s bread make so many people sick and what does this study about bread, mentioned above, tell us?
On the one hand there are of course the ATIs and on the other hand you have to know that in addition to gluten, every grain of wheat also contains fermentable oligo-, di- and monosaccharides as well as polyols, i.e. FODMAPs for short. These FODMAPs are certain types of sugar that are difficult for the human stomach to digest and cause problems.
However, these natural types of sugar in wheat can be minimized by simply giving the bread dough more time. Should it be that easy? Yes, it’s that simple! Because in the past, bakers let the dough for their daily bread rise for up to 48 hours.
Today in industrial production, this time is just 1 to 2 hours. This is possible because chemical baking aids are used nowadays.
In order to make bread the way we like it more digestible, it is important that the dough has enough time to rise. Because the yeast in the bread dough can convert almost all of the FODMAPs contained in the grain and thus in the flour while it rests sufficiently.
The researchers also found out in the said study that sourdough, which has to rest for 36 hours and is generally healthier, contains just 10 percent gluten.
And what do I eat for breakfast and dinner?
I personally bake sourdough bread from einkorn with my wife. Because this bread can be a valuable and healthy alternative to other types of bread, especially in the case of chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, joint and tendonitis, migraines, insomnia, fatigue, body aches or even asthma. In addition, it only contains exactly two ingredients in the production!
In any case, I have to say that the homemade sourdough bread is the first bread that doesn’t cause me any problems, despite the fact that I’m gluten intolerant . In addition, this sourdough bread tastes incredibly delicious. Just like the bread from our childhood.
Baking your own bread every day instead of buying it in a discount store is of course commendable because it is simply healthier. But here I have to warn against the ready-made baking mixes. These contain so many artificial enzymes and other additives that they are hardly really healthier.
That’s why I always tend to be of the opinion that if you’re going to buy bread, then it’s best from an organic baker who only uses fresh and biologically perfect ingredients. And who of course gives the bread time so that it not only tastes good, but is also good for us.
And when baking bread yourself, then as a sourdough variant with einkorn or another ancient grain. Because most Einkorn variants are almost free of ATI’s.