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Spelt Health Benefits & Nutrition Facts

Spelt grains can be used to substitute other popular grains in foods such as breads, cereals and pastas. In terms of nutrition, spelt is very similar to wheat. Whole spelt grains are more nutritious. Spelt is also available in the form of whole grain and white flour. It is an ideal alternative to individuals with wheat allergy or intolerance.
However it is advisable to consult a doctor before making any changes in your diet, especially if you have any medical condition.
  • Due to its high nutritional content, spelt offers several benefits to health.
  • The fiber in spelt is beneficial in reducing the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. Fiber adheres to the bile acids which are used in the production of cholesterol. Since fiber is not absorbed, it is eliminated from the body through the stools and it takes the bile acids along with it. Fiber may also help to protect women from breast cancer.
  • Spelt is a nutritious food for postmenopausal women who have hypertension, high cholesterol or symptoms of heart disease. It is advisable to consume spelt (or any other whole grains) six times a week.
  • A diet high in insoluble fiber helps to reduce the risk of developing gallstones. Since spelt contains insoluble fiber, it is an ideal addition to the diet.
  • Spelt contains niacin which helps to protect against cardiovascular disease. Niacin also lowers the levels of lipoprotein in the body and may even protect against the harmful effects of free radicals.
  • Magnesium in spelt plays an important role in glucose secretion and thus reduces the risk of diabetes.
  • Spelt may also help to prevent childhood asthma.

Nutrition Facts

Whole grain spelt flour is similar to whole wheat flour in terms of nutrition. A 38 gram serving of spelt flour is equal to one slice of bread and contains 26.5 grams of carbohydrates, 2.5 grams of dietary fiber, 1.3 grams of fat and 126 calories. Spelt contains larger amounts of the B vitamins as compared to wheat flour. It is especially rich in riboflavin and niacin. In one serving of spelt flour there is approximately 0.87 mg of riboflavin and 3.2 mg of niacin. Spelt is also known for its high levels of manganese, copper and phosphorus.

Buying and Storing:

Spelt can be found in the forms of grains and flour prepackaged or in bulk containers. It is important to make sure that the containers are covered properly and the grains or flour is fresh. There should be no moisture in the product. The best way to store spelt is in an airtight container. Keep it contained in a dark, dry and cool place. You can store spelt flour in the refrigerator as well so that it retains its nutritional quality.


You can use spelt flour to make breads, cereals and pastas at home by replacing all or some of the wheat flour used in the recipes. Spelt flour will lend a denser quality to the foods. Spelt flour can be used to make muffins or waffles. When preparing spelt in the form of grains, first rinse them under running water to get rid of dirt and soak the grains in water overnight or for about 8 hours. Then drain, rinse and add water. You can add 3 parts water to one part of spelt grains. Boil, lower the heat and simmer for approximately an hour. You can serve spelt with a side dish of vegetables or meat. You can even use the grains along with fresh vegetables to make a salad.


There is gluten in spelt and this makes it unsuitable for people with gluten allergies or intolerances and those affected by celiac disease. It may, however, be beneficial for individuals who cannot eat wheat. Some health experts caution that spelt which is grown near wheat fields may undergo cross pollination and hence may have wheat allergens in it. Some manufacturers process both wheat and spelt at the same facility and hence there is a risk of contamination. It is important to buy only those spelt products which indicate that the grain was grown or processed separately.

Information & Facts

  • Spelt was first grown about 7000 years ago in Eastern Europe and Iran.
  • The grain has not diminished in nutritional quality since it is so ancient and has not undergone any type of hybridization.
  • Spelt has a hardy husk in which many of its nutrients are found.
  • Due to the sturdy husk, it is difficult to commercially process spelt.
  • Spelt contains 17.0 percent protein, 57.9 percent carbohydrates, 3.0 percent fat and vitamins and minerals.
  • Since spelt contains gluten, individuals with celiac disease may not be able to consume it.
  • Whole wheat spelt flour contains germ and bran, while white flour loses both during processing.
Submitted on January 16, 2014