The history of bread dates as far back in time to the Middle East, primarily Mesopotamia where the use of irrigation, writing, the wheel, and glass first appeared. Wheat was first cultivated in Mesopotamia. Accordingly, it was the Ancient Egyptians that took a piece of dough, which included sugar and water, from the previous day to make a type of sourdough starter.
Since then many cultures from around the world have developed their methods for delicious bread making. Some include using beer and even wine!
Bread is still a staple in most homes today for sandwiches, breakfast toast, French toast etc. and can be bought easily at the local supermarket.
Bread is also most commonly served at restaurants along with meals, or a basket of hot from the oven rolls. If you dare, you could even take a trip to Lambert’s Café and have a giant roll thrown at you for dinner!
The Problems with Bread
Have you ever noticed that when a medical study comes out claiming this or that, the commercial companies rush to accommodate the masses? For example, pickles being labeled ‘Gluten Free’.
There is much misnomer concerning gluten and gluten intolerances as well as those who believe they have a gluten intolerance. There are in fact several different allergy factors that come to play when deciphering the root cause of many people’s digestive disorders when it comes to bread and wheat in general.
Gluten. According to a 2013 Survey by NPD’s Dieting Monitor, about one in every three adults (30%) claim to cut down or completely avoid gluten. Gluten is a family of proteins found in grains, such as wheat, rye, spelt and barley. It consists of two main proteins glutein and gliadin. Gluten is the glue-like substance that makes the dough elastic and gives bread the ability to rise during baking. Gliadin is responsible for most of the adverse health effects of gluten.
Gluten proteins are characterized by high proline and glutamine content, moreover, they are resistant to proteolytic enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract. In some individuals these peptides can cross the epithelial barrier and activate immune system: trigger an allergic (WA) or autoimmune response (CD) . Incomplete digestion leads to significant changes in human gut and causes intestinal or extra-intestinal symptoms. Gliadin and other gluten proteins stimulate T-cells.
In a 2019 Study, as reported by Medicinia-MDPI, the study’s conclusion stated “1. Symptoms of non-celiac gluten sensitivity are similar to gluten-related disease, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. 2. With Salerno Experts’ Criteria of non-celiac gluten sensitivity it is possible to diagnose patients properly and give them advice about nutritional treatment.”
According to Medical News Today, the most common symptoms of celiac disease are:
- digestive discomfort
- tissue damage in the small intestines
- skin rashes
- unexplained weight loss
- foul-smelling feces
Even though there is no clear definition of Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity, many people who do not test positive for celiac disease include the following symptoms:
- stomach pain
An estimated .02-1% of the population may experience digestive issues caused by an allergic reaction to wheat.
Medical News Today also states: “Furthermore, studies have shown that a gluten-free diet may benefit some individuals with schizophrenia, autism, and a disease called gluten ataxia (18Trusted Source, 19, 20).”
The Sour Dough Bread Difference
Kate Scarlata, Boston-based dietitian and author of The Low-FODMAP Diet book, states “The wild yeast and bacteria in sourdough starter break down some of the carbohydrates and proteins found in flour.”
Bread that is made with fast-rising yeast doesn’t allow time to break down the necessary carbohydrates and proteins in flour. Wild yeast fermentation process breaks down the carbohydrates found in wheat called fructan.
Fructan, according to a clinical trial study published Nov 2, 2017, PubMed , found to induce symptoms of gluten sensitivity in individuals.
Sourdough bread is a fermentation process that breaks down 4 gluten forming proteins. Sourdough bread also has a lower glycemic index which create less blood sugar spikes than regular bread.
The complex ecosystem of the sourdough starter is a combination of wild yeast, bacteria, enzymes and lactobacillus –yes, the same bacteria found in yogurt. Talk about getting a boost in gut health!
There are a few recipes I’ve included the sourdough starter in my other recipes such as pasta and cake. From my personal experience it has worked wonderfully for my gut and gluten sensitivity.
See the recipe here: JTC’s Sour Dough Bread.
As always, stay safe and healthy! Much love to you all, John and Tracey.