Wheat

Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. Wheat is an important source of carbohydrates. Globally, it is the leading source of vegetal protein in human food, having a protein content of about 13%, which is relatively high compared to other major cereals, but relatively low in protein quality for supplying essential amino acids. When eaten as the whole grain, wheat is a source of multiple nutrients and dietary fiber.

 

Varieties and Cultivation

Wheat is primarily grown in the northern parts of India. Wheat from MP is very famous.

 

Nutrition Table (as per USDA National Nutrient Database)

Wheat has significant amount of Carbohydrates, Dietary Fiber, Niacin, Thiamin, Manganese and Selenium as shown below.

 

Health Information

Consumed worldwide by billions of people, wheat is a significant food for human nutrition, particularly in the least developed countries where wheat products are primary foods. When eaten as the whole grain, wheat is a healthy food source of multiple nutrients and dietary fiber recommended for children and adults, in several daily servings containing a variety of foods that meet whole grain-rich criteria. Dietary fiber may also help people feel full and therefore help with a healthy weight. Further, wheat is a major source for natural and biofortified nutrient supplementation, including dietary fiber, protein and dietary minerals.

 

Manufacturers of foods containing wheat as a whole grain in specified amounts are allowed a health claim for marketing purposes in the United States, stating: “low fat diets rich in fiber-containing grain products, fruits, and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, a disease associated with many factors” and “diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol and rich in fruits, vegetables, and grain products that contain some types of dietary fiber, particularly soluble fiber, may reduce the risk of heart disease, a disease associated with many factors”. The scientific opinion of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) related to health claims on gut health/bowel function, weight control, blood glucose/insulin levels, weight management, blood cholesterol, satiety, glycemic index, digestive function and cardiovascular health is “that the food constituent, whole grain, (…) is not sufficiently characterized in relation to the claimed health effects” and “that a cause and effect relationship cannot be established between the consumption of whole grain and the claimed effects considered in this opinion.”

 

Concerns

In genetically susceptible people, gluten – a major part of wheat protein – can trigger coeliac disease. Coeliac disease affects about 1% of the general population in developed countries. There is evidence that most cases remain undiagnosed and untreated. The only known effective treatment is a strict lifelong gluten-free diet. While coeliac disease is caused by a reaction to wheat proteins, it is not the same as a wheat allergy. Other diseases triggered by eating gluten are non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, (estimated to affect 0.5% to 13% of the general population),gluten ataxia and dermatitis herpetiformis.

 

Uses

Perhaps the most versatile grain, wheat has a mild, sweet flavor, and its high gluten content allows it to be used in a wide range of recipes, from rustic breads to fine pastries. In India, stone(chakki)-ground whole wheat flour is traditionally used to make chapatis(hand made Indian flat breads, also called roti/phulka ).