While it's becoming a trend for people with digestive problems and gluten allergies to switch from modern wheat to ancient grains, people suffering from other chronic illnesses have not yet jumped on the bandwagon. Well, that's a mistake. While Modern wheat promotes inflammation, ancient grains like Kamut and Einkorn actually lower inflammation.
Modern wheat has wreaked havoc upon our health. Modern wheat is really a mix of 7 grains and grasses (some are animal feed, they're not even suitable for human consumption. Modern wheat has been hybridized or genetically modified (its not clear which) to the extent that it looks nothing like its ancient cousins, kamut. Modern wheat is called dwarf wheat, it is much smaller, growing about 2 1/2 feet shorter.
Modern wheat has been genetically altered (hybridized) to increase its gluten content (to make it fluffier and to increase yield). It has also been modified to be more drought resistant.
So what does all this do to our health?
Modern wheat is very low in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, compared to kamut and einkorn. Modern wheat has been shown to promote inflammation. Inflammation causes damage to blood vessel walls, leading to high LDL cholesterol. High LDL cholesterol can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
Ancient grains like Kamut are high in antioxidants, polyphenols and carotenoids, as well as minerals such as selenium magnesium and vanadium.
In a 2013 study, 22 patients with ACS, Acute coronary syndrome, most of whom had had at least one heart attack (13 men, 9 women), participated. They compared their blood results while they eating kamut compared to modern wheat.
The results showed that consumption of products made from KAMUT khorasan wheat produced A REDUCTION in total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, glucose and insulin levels. There was also a big reduction in the master pro-inflammatory cytokine marker called Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (-34.5%).
“Because of all the drugs that the participants were taking we didn’t really expect any measurable improvement in symptoms with such a small change in diet. We certainly were surprised by the results,” commented Dr. Anne Whittaker.
Despite the seriousness of their heart condition, these 22 patients with ACS exhibited lowered inflammation, and higher antioxidant levels.
Another study investigated the impact of consumption of KAMUT wheat in healthy adults with risk factors for the heart disease. Results indicated that consumption of KAMUT® khorasan wheat products reduced total cholesterol, cholesterol LDL, glucose, and increased mineral levels, and a reduction in overall inflammatory markers.