Ezekiel Bread: Is it Good for You?

Ezekiel bread is a flourless bread made using a variety of sprouted grains. The grains are mashed into a dough-like texture and baked. Sprouting grains increases their nutritional value. Some researchers have suggested that sprouted grain could be a part of a global solution to boost nutrition.

Ezekiel bread is a whole-grain product. Whole grains are better to have in your diet than   highly processed grains, such as white flour. In addition to wheat, Ezekiel bread contains barley, lentils, spelt, millet, and soybeans. 

Nutrition Information

A serving of Ezekiel bread is one slice. It contains:

  • Calories: 80
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 15 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams

Ezekiel bread is a good source of these nutrients:

Potential Health Benefits of Ezekiel Bread

Ezekiel bread has some health benefits, but is it better for you than other whole-grain breads?

The answer is not clear-cut. Few studies of sprouted grain have used human subjects. Most studies used sprouted brown rice. Also, the conditions under which sprouting takes place can affect nutritional value.  

Here are some of the possible health benefits of sprouted grains:

Better Absorption of Nutrients

Sprouted grains are low in phytate, sometimes known as an anti-nutrient. Phytate can keep the body from absorbing vitamins and minerals, while sprouted grains can boost the absorption of folate, iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin C

Improved Digestibility

In order for the body to use the starch in grains, starch must be broken down into sugars. Sprouting begins that process, so some people find sprouted grains more digestible. This may be especially beneficial for older people .

Sprouting also increases the protein in grain and may make it more available for use by the body. The total increase in protein is around 10%. 

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

The sprouting process increases the level of available antioxidants in cereal grains. Normally, up to 90% of polyphenols are unavailable for use by the body; however, sprouting makes them more accessible. Antioxidants known as polyphenols are especially important because they inhibit the inflammatory process.

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Potential Risks of Ezekiel Bread

If you are going to eat bread, you will be hard-pressed to find a healthier choice than Ezekiel bread, although it may be only slightly  better than others. Sprouted bread is more expensive than regular bread, and the added nutritional value may not be worth the cost for some consumers. Here are other reasons Ezekiel bread is not ideal for everyone:

High in Carbohydrates

Ezekiel bread is a high-carb food. People with diabetes and those trying to lose weight should only eat it in small amounts. Ezekiel bread is not consistent with a keto diet

Gluten Content

Although Ezekiel bread is technically flourless, it is not a gluten-free product. Those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance shouldn't eat it. There are other flourless breads that do not contain gluten.

Contamination With Mold

Ezekiel bread does not contain food additives such as preservatives, so it may get moldy more quickly than other breads. While the molds that typically grow on bread are not as dangerous as others, under some circumstances they may produce mycotoxins. It's not enough to cut off the visible mold, because the roots of the mold can extend far into the bread.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH on September 21, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

African Journal of Food Science: "Production and evaluation of specialty breads from sprouted mixed grains."

Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety: "Impact of Cereal Sprouting on Its Nutritional and Technological Properties: A Critical Review." 

ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, Oregon: "Bread, sprouted, whole grain, flourless, svg., Food for Life."  

Frontiers in Nutrition: "The Role of Polyphenols in Human Health and Food Systems: A Mini-Review."

Harvard Health Publishing: "Are sprouted grains more nutritious than regular whole grains?"

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: “Whole Grains.”

Nutrients: "Sprouted Grains: A Comprehensive Review."

U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Data: "Sprouted Ezekiel."

United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service: "Molds on Food: Are They Dangerous?"

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