SERVING SIZE: 1/4 c
SPECIES: Triticum spp.
How Can White Flour (wheat) Make You Feel Great?
The wheat of our ancestors is incomparable to the wheat popularly consumed today. Most of the wheat products consumed today are highly refined and possibly rancid. The bread that Jesus broke at the last supper is very different than our modern loaves also due to breeding, scientific manipulations, and farming techniques. Spelt, a relative of wheat, more closely resembles the 'bread of life' that sustained the ancients. It has gained popularity because many of those who cannot tolerate contemporary wheat products can properly digest spelt.
Chinese Medicine recognizes wheat as a potentially medicinal food. Wheat is used to nourish the heart & calm the spirit. Wheat is the comfort food that puts the heart in the heartland of America. Wheat also supports the kidneys, quenches thirst, and stops excessive sweating. It is seen as an excellent food for the promotion of growth in children and weak individuals, thus it should be limited or avoided by those who are obese.
Wheat & AllergiesWheat, like many foods that cause allergies, is difficult to digest. For instance, in comparing wheat with rice, rice dishes digest quickly and don't feel heavy in the gut. A trip to an Italian restaurant for a heavy pasta meal at lunchtime is a different story. The wheat-rich meal keeps the belly satisfied until long after dinner. Eating difficult-to-digest foods causes stagnation and rotting in the digestive system, irritating the intestines and provoking an immune response. Many eaters find wheat at the root of their digestive woes. Bread, perhaps the most common form of wheat consumed, is fermented, or predigested, by yeast before baking and consumption, to make it easier on your gut. Sourdough breads are left to ferment longer, and are even easier to digest.
Wheat is exceptionally sticky due to the presence of gluten, which comes from the Latin word for glue. As kids, many of us witnessed this phenomenon: We made glue from flour and water. As adults we bake flour and water into bread, then chew it back into glue. It's no wonder then that wheat products tend to clump up in the digestive tract.
Wheat & KaphaIn general, Kapha disorders are post-digestive, residing in the lymph, lungs, and heart. The sticky qualities of wheat are an obvious problem for the already wet and heavy nature of Kapha. Wheat, once digested, makes the blood gooey, bogging circulation (see Sweet Taste). Wheat encourages yeast growth, a particular difficulty for Kapha; fungi are Kapha.
Wheat & VataWheat aggravates Vata people in the "seat" of Vata - the colon - because it is difficult for Vata to digest. Undigested wheat becomes gooey fecal matter and gets stuck in the cecum and ferments. The cecum is the beginning of the colon, located on the lower right of the abdomen. Fermented, undigested food makes the cecum feel bloated.
Wheat & PittaGenerally, wheat pacifies a strong Pitta appetite. The strength of the Pitta digestive power makes wheat a more viable option for this group more than others. Some Pitta people have an allergy to wheat called Celiac.
Alternatives to WheatWheat is a mainstay in many diets, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are many products to substitute for wheat foods. Often times, substitution is not enough; you may be happier rethinking your diet on a bigger scale, eating more meals based around rice or other whole grains, and reconsidering the sandwich as the only lunch option.
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ABOUT WHITE FLOUR (WHEAT)
BUYING & PREPARATION
COOKING WHITE FLOUR (WHEAT)Browse Recipes
Experiment with sprouted wheat products if you consider wheat a problematic grain in your diet. Some wheat allergies are due to the processed, and possibly rancid, wheat products that are most common in grocery stores. Spelt products are another possible compromise, though many resolve to go gluten free at least for a time to witness what these overly-relied-upon wheat products do to their systems.
Gluten-free diets are becoming more and more popular, and also easier because there are more recipes and tips than ever. There are countless Web sites and recipe books that advocate for vibrant and delicious gluten-free options.
Bread rises because gluten is sticky enough to catch and hold air bubbles formed by yeast. When baking without wheat, look for sticky substitutes. Ground oatmeal is often suitable substitutes for wheat based products that don't have to rise too much, perfect for pancakes, cookies and waffles. Spelt or sourghum flour are sticky enough for baking breads, especially given extra time to let the dough sit or to knead the dough. Otherwise, add xanthum gum or tapioca flour to help gluten-free products rise.
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WHY SHOULD YOU EAT AYURVEDICALLY?Eating Ayurvedically makes you feel nourished and energized. An Ayurvedic diet is tailored to your individual body type and the specific imbalances you are working with at any given time. Foods that supplement your specific body type’s needs and digest easily create your menu. Watch as you eat less but feel more satisfied because what you are eating truly nourishes you. Since Ayurveda believes all disease begins in the digestive tract, food is your first medicine. By eating a healthy diet that’s ideal for your body, you experience optimal health.
Is White Flour (wheat) Good for Me?
Experiences are PersonalExperiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary. The list of actions below has not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Energy Vitality Strength:
SATISFIES-STOMACHProvides a sense of gratification and fullness in the stomach.
NUTRITIVEAn herb that is strengthening and nourishing.
TONICA tonic herb strengthens tissue, often restoring healthy function. Tonics usually target a specific organ, tissue, or system ie: brain, muscle or respiratory tonic.
Heart & Circulation:
CALMS-HEARTAn herb that literally calms the heart. These herbs are helpful in the treatment of anxiety, sadness, depression, or other emotional imbalances in the heart. Related to the Chinese Herbal Category 'calms spirit.'
Lung and Sinus:
DEMULCENTHerbs that coat or form a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving minor pain and inflammation of the membrane.
Mind, Stress & Sleep:
Makes you tired,
MAKES-YOU-TIREDInduces drowsiness and promotes sound sleep.
SEDATIVESedative herbs create a sense of calm in the mind and body by specifically calming or quieting the nervous system. Excellent for anxiety, stress and chronic pain.
PROMOTES-VIRILITYEncourages virility and potency.
(Not you? Keep scrolling!)
Are you struggling with your health?Learn how to feel your best by balancing your diet in just a week.
How to Use Food AyurvedicallyHOW DOES EATING AYURVEDICALLY MAKE YOU FEEL?
Eating Ayurvedically makes you feel nourished and energized. Food digests with ease when right for your body type (dosha). Healthy digestion is seen as the cornerstone of well-being in Ayurveda. Healthy digestion generally prevents illness. If you do get sick, a strong digestive fire reduces the severity of illness and increases your resilience. It also improves your mood. Once you begin eating Ayurvedically, you will feel refreshed, vital and strong.
View Other Ingredients for Autumn-WinterWhite Flour (wheat) is recommended for Autumn-Winter. Check out these other Autumn-Winter foods here.
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(5.00 out of 5 stars) 5 reviews, 48 likes
Wheat isn't really the culprit, it is the way we eat it. Most people eat it stale (over 1 day old). Yeasted breads are a ferment. That is probably why so many people have a sensitivity.
so you are saying fermented breads made out of wheat are easier to digest. but in general fermented goods are considered good in ayurveda specially for pitta and vata, I am confused. I am vata-pitta , so should I eat sourdough bread or not??
Wonderful post, Joseph. As usual from you, it is intelligent, thorough, unique and true to Ayurvedic. This is a great resource for so many who are confused by wheat these days.
Very helpful info. Thanks.
I have seen sprouted whole grain wheat flours - can you comment on these?
Yes, what about wheat grass juice? Is it also hard to digest and glutenous as well?
Wheat grass juice is gluten free and very easy to digest. It is stimulating and completely different from the wheat seed.
About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.