Kamut or khorasan wheat is an ancient type of wheat grain which derives its name from a historical region of the present day Afghanistan known as khorasan. Although this wheat looks similar to the common wheat, it is larger in size (twice the size) and holds more nutrient content than modern wheat. Khorasan wheat is of high quality with amber color and a nutty taste. The exact origin of this wheat is not known but some scientists believe that they first came from western Anatolia. Khorasan wheat has not been produced commercially and did not gain much popularity in modern times. However, two farmers from USA took steps in cultivating this grain and registered their cultivated variety of khorasan wheat (QK-77) as the trademark kamut. Khorasan wheat has recently started to gain the popularity and attention it deserves because of its high nutrient content and the various health benefits it offers.
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Nutritional value of khorasan wheat
When compared to modern wheat, Khorasan wheat is more nutritious and healthy. It is low in fat and contains no cholesterol. It is high in lipids and hence can provide you with more energy than carbohydrates. This wheat therefore can be described as a high energy grain. The amount of gluten found in Khorasan wheat is more when compared to regular wheat. It has high vitreousness because of the presence of high amounts of protein (40% more than modern wheat). Khorasan wheat is found to comprise of up to 30% more vitamin E and 65% more amino acids than common wheat. It also contains other vitamins like vitamin A and B group vitamins like thiamin and niacin. Khorasan wheat is also a rich source of fiber and minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, copper, magnesium, selenium, zinc. It also contains many types of fatty acids and polyphenols. The presence of good amount of gluten and protein makes khorasan wheat a high quality grain.
Health Benefits of kamut / Khorasan wheat
kamut / Khorasan wheat can be bought from grocery stores or health food stores in the form of baked goods or dry grains. With its high nutrition content and nutty flavor, Khorasan wheat is a healthy addition to your daily diet. It offers high amounts of fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and powerful antioxidants that helps in improving your overall health and well being. Read on to know more about the health benefits of kamut or khorasan wheat.
Khorasan wheat has high antioxidant properties
Khorasan wheat is rich in antioxidants like polyphenols, selenium etc which means that they protect your cells and DNA from genetic mutations and oxidative stress caused by free radicals. This helps in slowing down the aging process, preventing the appearance of premature aging signs like wrinkles and fine lines and also in preventing many diseases including cancer.
Kamut for healthy digestion
Unlike the regular wheat, khorasan wheat is high in nutrition and dietary fiber. Fiber plays an important role in keeping your body healthy. Fiber adds bulk to the stools and helps in normalizing bowel movements. It also plays a vital role in improving digestion and in treating many kinds of stomach disorders such as acid reflux, constipation, and irregular bowel movements. Hence the regular intake of kamut wheat is helpful in improving the health of your digestive system.
Khorasan wheat may help prevent cancer
The high amounts of antioxidants in khorasan wheat can fight off the free radicals and help in preventing cancer. Studies reveal that this wheat is beneficial in protecting you against certain types of cancers like abdominal cancer, digestive tract cancer, colon cancer and breast cancer.
Khorasan wheat boosts your immunity
The presence of zinc and antioxidant nutrients like selenium in khorasan wheat makes it an immune boosting food. Regular consumption of this wheat helps in strengthening your immune system and in protecting you from common health problems like cold and flu.
Khorasan wheat lowers cholesterol
Khorasan wheat is a good source of fiber that is not only beneficial in promoting digestive health but also in lowering the levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream. The soluble fiber in this wheat binds to cholesterol and aids in its removal from the blood thus preventing its accumulation in the bloodstream. Studies reveal that kamut helps in lowering the total cholesterol levels as well as the LDL or bad cholesterol levels by a significant amount.
Khorasan wheat and cardiovascular health
According to a study published in the “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition” (February 2013 issue) Kamut may be helpful in lowering your risk of developing heart diseases. The results showed that people who consumed kamut wheat had significant reduction in the levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or the bad cholesterol and a marked increase in levels of magnesium and potassium, two important minerals that assist in lowering high blood pressure. Kamut also helped in lowering the levels of pro-inflammatory immune-signaling molecules, thereby preventing the formation of arterial plaque and reducing the blood sugar levels. All these features of khorasan wheat provide a protective effect on your cardiovascular system.
Kamut wheat offers protection to your liver
A study published in the April 2012 issue of the journal “Nutrition” suggests that kamut wheat helps in protecting the liver. Studies conducted in animals revealed that a diet that incorporated kamut helped in lowering oxidative stress. It also helped in reducing the levels of cellular damage that is caused by the waste products and toxins that get accumulated in the body. Moreover khorasan wheat is found to help in stimulating the functioning of antioxidants and lowering inflammation in the liver.
Kamut wheat is good for diabetics
People suffering from diabetes are recommended to include kamut wheat in their diet as it is beneficial in managing the blood sugar levels. The high levels of fiber in this wheat help in lowering the levels of glucose in the blood. Kamut wheat being low in glycemic index does not cause considerable spikes in the glucose levels, which is very important for people having diabetes.
Khorasan wheat promotes weight loss
If you are trying to lose weight then khorasan wheat is definitely one of the foods that you should add to your weight loss diet. The high fiber content in this wheat curbs your hunger by keeping you full for a long period of time. As a result you do not overeat or indulge in frequent snacks. Being low in calories and fat free, kamut wheat is an ideal weight loss food as it provides your body with almost all the nutrients it needs without adding extra calories.
Kamut wheat contains good amounts of niacin
Niacin is a B group vitamin that is essential for maintaining the health of your nervous system. It is also associated with synthesis of certain hormones and the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. A diet rich in niacin can help in lowering your risk of high blood cholesterol, heart disease, osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis and diabetes. Kamut is a rich source of niacin and hence including it in your diet is a great way to get good amounts of niacin into your body.
Kamut wheat is a great source of manganese
Manganese is an essential mineral that plays a key role in many functions of your body. It is needed to maintain a healthy nervous system and to help in energy metabolism. Manganese is needed for the absorption of calcium by your body and it helps in controlling blood glucose levels. This mineral is also associated with the production of bone tissue, hormones, and proteins that are needed for blood coagulation. Kamut wheat is a rich source of manganese and hence including it in your diet can help your body function properly and also lower your risks of conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes.
Khorasan wheat provides good amounts of magnesium
Khorasan wheat provides almost 23 % of a man’s and 30 % of a woman’s daily requirement of magnesium. Just like manganese, magnesium is also a mineral that your body needs to perform its functions properly. Magnesium is needed for activating the enzymes in your body. This mineral plays an important role in maintaining the health of your bones and teeth and also in keeping them healthy and strong. It also helps in controlling the levels of nutrients like vitamin D, copper, zinc and potassium in your body. Inadequate level of magnesium in the diet is often associated with conditions like high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
One of the main principles that guide Kamut International is the idea put forward by hippocrates that Medicine should be our food and food should be our medicine. Many people who are sensitive to modern wheat have no problem eating Khorasan wheat.Research suggests that when eating kamut wheat products, these people do
not experience the common adverse reactions that may occur due to the consumption of modern wheat. Studies are being conducted to know what makes khorasan wheat superior to the other types of wheat. As the popularity of this wheat is increasing, health care professionals and naturopaths frequently recommend kamut wheat for not only people suffering from wheat sensitivities but for also those who wish to eat healthy food.