Food

Wheat – intolerance and allergy

Wheat

The term wheat refers to various plants from the grass family. Soft wheat is usually grown.

Here’s what you should know about wheat

Soft wheat is the most commonly cultivated type of grain in Germany. The plant is also known as bread wheat or seed wheat . Common wheat can be grown as a winter or summer crop.

The annual herbaceous plant reaches a height of between 40 and 100 centimeters. In rare cases, however, wheat can also reach a height of one and a half meters. The stem of the plant is hollow inside and has a very thin wall. The small leaf blades are initially hairy, but later become rough. Without the awns, the inflorescence is between 6 and 19 centimeters long. The spikes are narrow and dense.

The small spikelets have three to five flowers. On some lemmas sit up to 15 centimeters long awns. Wheat prefers a warm and relatively dry climate. It can also be grown in cooler and humid areas, but yields will not be as good there. The cultivation usually takes place in the lowlands or in the low mountain ranges up to a maximum height of 900 meters.

Wheat was one of the first grains cultivated by man. It was probably created by crossing the ancient grain emmer and goat grass. Historical finds show that wheat was already being cultivated around 9000 years ago. The center of cultivation at that time was probably in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia. Around 5000 BC The wheat then came to Europe. In ancient times, it was first cultivated in the Mediterranean region by the Romans. It was not until the 11th century AD that wheat was also cultivated in Central Europe.

Today, wheat is the second most commonly grown grain in the world after corn . The largest producers of soft wheat are China, India and the USA. Around 26 million tons of common wheat are harvested in Germany every year. Durum wheat is grown relatively little at 38,000 tons per year.

The harvested grains of wheat are processed into flour in mills. To do this, the wheat is first crushed in a so-called roller mill. Then it is sieved. The whole process is called passage. It may take 15 passes to reach the desired flour consistency. Soft wheat is later used primarily to make white bread. Cakes and biscuits also usually contain wheat flour. Durum wheat is mainly processed into noodles .

importance to health

Wheat has been an indispensable staple food for thousands of years. But in recent years, the grain has fallen into disrepute. Wheat is difficult to digest, makes you dependent and stupid. Most of these theses are scientifically untenable. The diseases that are really directly related to wheat are rather rare.

Wheat provides some micronutrients such as calcium or magnesium . The grain also contains a lot of energy in the form of carbohydrates . It fills you up pretty quickly.

Wheat contains a lot of vitamin E. Wheat germ oil in particular is rich in vitamin E. No other oil contains as much vitamin E. Wheat germ oil is very suitable for external care. It protects against free radicals and stimulates the formation of new cells in the skin . It can reduce stretch marks and make scars more supple. Due to its protective and regenerating effect, wheat germ oil can also be used to care for flaky and dry scalps.

Wheat germ oil also has numerous benefits when taken internally. It has an antioxidant effect and can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels due to its health-promoting fat composition . Cardiovascular diseases can be prevented in this way.

Ingredients & nutritional values

Wheat consists of 70 percent carbohydrates. It contains 12 percent protein , 2 percent fat and 12 percent water . Wheat consists of 2 percent minerals and about 2 percent fiber . Wheat contains magnesium , potassium , calcium and phosphorus . In addition, the grain has a high proportion of B vitamins. Vitamin E is also included.

Oil can also be obtained from the wheat germ. Due to the rather low oil yield, wheat germ oil is one of the more expensive oils. It contains 19 percent saturated fat . The majority, however, consists of polyunsaturated fatty acids. This oil also contains vitamins A, B, D, E and K.

Intolerances & allergies

An estimated 0.5 percent of the population is currently affected by the gluten intolerance celiac disease . However, the German Celiac Society suspects that the number of unreported cases is significantly higher. Celiac disease is a condition that has characteristics of both an allergy and an autoimmune disease . When eating foods containing gluten, those affected react with inflammation of the small intestine . Wheat contains a lot of gluten.

As a result, the cells of the mucous membrane of the small intestine are damaged or even completely destroyed. As a result, there is poorer absorption of nutrients. Patients lose weight despite a normal diet. Other possible symptoms include diarrhea , vomiting , loss of appetite , depression or tiredness . Presumably, untreated celiac disease is also associated with an increased risk of colon cancer . Celiac disease is diagnosed by detecting antibodies in the blood serumor through an intestinal biopsy. Wheat allergy is also a reaction to wheat. Although people who are sensitive to wheat do not have an allergic reaction to the grain, they nevertheless show symptoms when they eat it. It comes to diarrhea, flatulence, tiredness and general complaints.

All symptoms are probably caused by amylase trypsin inhibitors (ATI). Due to the breeding of high-performance wheat, the content of ATI in wheat has increased. Accordingly, more and more people are reacting with wheat intolerance. The number of people suffering from celiac disease is also steadily increasing.

Shopping & kitchen tips

Wheat is also available in grain form, but most of it is sold as flour. Depending on the degree of grinding, different types of flour are distinguished. Type 405 is an extract flour. It is the typical white household flour that is used for finer baked goods.

Type 1600, on the other hand, is a flour that is used, for example, for mixed dark breads. The degree of grinding here is 98 percent. There are also different quality levels for soft wheat: elite wheat, quality wheat, bread wheat and other wheat. Products are also available on the market that at first glance do not appear to be wheat products. For example, couscous or bulgur are made from wheat.

Preparation tips

The light wheat flour can be easily processed into cakes, pastries, ciabatta, mares or baguette. Due to the high gluten content, most baked goods turn out very well with wheat flour.

Type 550 wheat flour is less processed and has a better grip. It absorbs less liquid during baking and thus stabilizes the dough. This flour is used for strudel dough and yeast pastries. The higher the type designation, the darker the color and the stronger the taste. In contrast to white flour, the wheat flour types 812, 1050 and 1600 are not suitable for all types of baked goods. While bread works well with the dark flours, cakes and biscuits are not so easy to make.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.