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Enjoying wheat in its purest form allows you to benefit from all the virtues of this nutritious cereal and create surprising recipes.
Nutrition experts say that more than half of the daily energy should be obtained from foods rich in complex carbohydrates, such as those provided by whole wheat.
This grain is a very balanced food, with a high amount of carbohydrates (60%), especially in the form of starch. These carbohydrates are an excellent way to provide energy to the body, since starch has the advantage of being digested slowly and thus ensuring a constant release of glucose into the blood. This prevents wheat from causing blood sugar spikes and makes it suitable for people with diabetes. Athletes also find it a great ally, as it provides large amounts of energy economically and efficiently. The presence of thiamine or vitamin B1 also favors the correct assimilation of glucose.
Wheat is also one of the cereals richest in protein (11.7%), among which gluten stands out, without whose unique qualities it would not be possible to make the delicious and fluffy fermented breads that this cereal usually produces. This same gluten is what gives pasta its elasticity and texture, but also the one that celiacs do not tolerate, since they lack the enzyme that allows them to assimilate it, they are obliged to avoid it.
Wheat contains very little fat (2%), compared to other cereals.
Whole wheat is therefore a good source of vitamins E, B1, B2, B3 and B6, which in addition to helping to metabolize the wheat's own nutrients contributes to good health of the nervous system and intellectual functions.
Its richness in selenium (70.7 mcg / 100 g) makes it, on the other hand, an antioxidant food that protects against the undesirable effect of free radicals. This same trace mineral is related to good heart and reproductive health.
Wheat also contains appreciable amounts of magnesium (147 mg / 100 g), phosphorus (406 mg), manganese (3.8 mg) and copper (0.38 mg), while its sodium content (8 mg) it is very low, which allows it to be included in the diet of hypertensive patients and people with kidney disease.
Like most whole grains, wheat provides a significant amount of fiber to the diet and also contains phytoestrogens such as lignans, which, due to their hormone-regulating effect, help alleviate the symptoms of menopause.
An exquisite grain
To cook tender wheat, three measures of water are required for one of wheat. It is important to use a stainless steel pot with a thick bottom and a tight-fitting lid.
Painting the bottom with oil prevents the cereal from sticking when it has absorbed all the water.
The grains have to be pre-soaked for about 10 or 12 hours. After this time, they are drained and placed in the pot with the water and a splash of oil to accelerate the dextrination of the starch. Cover and put the container over high heat until it boils. At that moment the heat is lowered and it is left to cook until it has absorbed the water.
The longer it is cooked, the more tender it is, but care must be taken so that it does not lose its delicate biting texture.
A more comfortable and modern option is to use precooked wheat, which cooks in a few minutes and does not require pre-soaking. They can be used in the preparation of vegetable fillings, soups, stews, paellas or even as an ingredient in the preparation of croquettes. It admits intense flavors and combines with nuts or pine nuts, mushrooms and with almost all vegetables and greens, especially tomato, onion, carrot, black olives and pepper.
Santi Avalos (cook)