Originally published April 15 2010
How to Avoid the Health Hazards of Modern Grains
by Paul Fassa
(NaturalNews) The wholesome content of "our daily bread" has dwindled greatly since the late 1800s. In the early 1900s, Dr. Harvey Wiley, MD, opposed the process of bleaching flour at the turn of the century from his official position as head of the Bureau of Chemistry, considered a precursor to the FDA. Dr. Wiley was one of the good guys who quit his position out of frustration after the law he helped create to ban chemically bleached flour was never enforced.
And before that time, the normal process of harvesting wheat and other grains permitted the grains to sprout before being milled. Those nutritious sprouts were part of our ancestors' daily bread. Now the bread offered to consumers is nutritionally vapid processed bread, which due to the toxic chemicals used for processing, also inhibits nutrients from other sources as well as adds toxins.
Common Bread Hazards
Artificial chemical bleaching is banned in Europe, where food still has some value. There, white flour is created by letting the crushed grains age in the open air for several days. No chemicals are used. Elsewhere, even many whole grain breads have some chemically bleached white flour in them.
Before it becomes flour, wheat and other non-organic factory farmed grains are treated with fungicides, pesticides, and insecticides from seedling to storage. Bad start! Then the highly nutritious, sprout-able bran and the husk that has the fiber are removed leaving only the light yellow endosperm, which is virtually all starch with very little nutritional value and a high glycemic index rating.
But that's not all folks. In order to bypass the aging process, add shelf life, and get that clean white color, the endosperm is crushed and treated with some nasty chlorides to get it white instantly. A byproduct of that process is alloxan, which is used to induce diabetes in lab animals for medical testing!
Never mind looking for that on bread labels. Alloxan is a byproduct of the bleaching process, not an ingredient. To avoid this, simply put any bread back on the shelf that includes white flour unless you're in Europe or it specifically states unbleached white flour. Better yet, buy better breads or make your own.
Better Bread Options
The best breads are usually heavily refrigerated. They have many nutrients intact and are not chemically treated for enhanced shelf life. Truly dark whole rye breads or pumpernickels will be healthier than normal shelf breads or recently baked white breads. Congratulations, at this level, you're doing better.
But doing best comes with sprouted grain breads. The bran remains and is sprouted. There are a couple of brands with sprouted grains still around if you browse in your health food freezers and don't mind spending an extra buck or two. This is the stuff of bread prior to the industrial revolution. It is actually highly nutritious and has a low glycemic index.
You can also buy sprouted flour, invest in a bread maker and treat yourself to easily digestible, filling, and nutritious bread. Sprouting produces enzymes which assist digestion and contribute to cellular metabolism. Sprouting also deactivates aflatoxins, potent carcinogens found in grains. Sprouted flour is no longer just starch. You'll be eating tomato and not potato. You can even sprout your own grains. (Source below)
Sprouting adds Vitamins C and B and carotene and neutralizes enzyme inhibitors present in the bran of all grains that inhibit absorption of key minerals. Whether you buy those pricey sprouted breads or hunker down with your own sprouting and bread making, consuming breads with sprouted flours is a return to wholesome bread as it once was.
Sources for more information:
Sprouting Your Own Grains
To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co.
Wheaty Indiscretions: What Happens to Wheat from Seed to Storage
White Flour: Not That Healthy
What is Pumpernickel Bread?
About the authorPaul Fassa is dedicated to warning others about the current corruption of food and medicine and guiding others toward a direction for better health with no restrictions on health freedom. You can visit his blog at http://healthmaven.blogspot.com
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