Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online

Health food of the month - Spelt

December 2011 

Previous Health Foods of the Month...




Diet & Supplements Index

SpeltThere is a lot more news about spelt these days, with recipes stipulating spelt rather than wheat and ready prepared foods based on spelt now arriving in the shops.

But despite its growing popularity, many people still know very little about spelt, what it is and how to use it.

Basically spelt is closely related to wheat, a sort of cousin. It is a very ancient grain that originally was found in Iran and parts of south eastern Europe and was used as one of the staple grains for the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome. While, like all modern grains, it has been manipulated to meet modern farming techniques and manufacturing requirements, its alteration is minimal compared with other grains and spelt retains many of its original characteristics.

Spelt is also easier to digest than modern day wheat. The gluten contained in spelt is water soluble, degrades with heat and breaks down very easily. The gluten in wheat does not break down in water and can even get stronger when it is mixed. This means spelt is easier to digest.

Spelt also offers a wider spectrum of nutrients compared with many other modern day grains. It is a very good source of vitamin B2 and also a good source of niacin. Niacin can help protect the body against cardiovascular risk factors and also reduce levels of cholesterol and lipoprotein. Spelt also contains good levels of manganese, thiamine and copper.

Spelt is high in fibre and also contains a special type of phytonutrient called plant lignans, considered effective in helping to provide protection against certain hormone-dependent cancers.

Spelt is now readily available in various forms at major supermarkets and health shops. Interestingly, if you see any Italian food with the word Farro in it (ie in Zuppa de Farro, Farro soup) then this means spelt. Farro refers to the whole spelt grain that has been traditionally used in Italian cooking to give a nutty flavour and chewy texture.

    Keep in touch with everything happening in Laterlife Today!

    Subscribe to our free monthly email newsletters for the latest articles, offers and events. You can unsubscribe at any time should you want to.

Bookmark This Share on Facebook Receive more like this

Tell us your hospital experience

Tell us your health experiences

Want to comment on this article or ask other laterlife visitors a question?

Then visit the comment section of the Later Lifestyle Network, click on the 'Discussion Tab' (you can't see this until you are logged in) and create a new topic or add your views to an existing one. 

feeling Good

Feeling Good

The above article is part of the features section of called laterlife interest. laterlife interest contains a variety of articles of interest for visitors to written by a number of experienced and new journalists.

It includes both one off articles and also associated regular columns of a more specialist nature such as Healthwise, Gardener's Diary, our regular IT question and answer section called YoucandoIT and there's also 'It could be you' by Maggi Stamp laterlife's counsellor on human relationships. 

Looking to the future

Looking to the future

Tell us about what you would like to see here on in the future or any changes you would like to see. Just email

Latest articles

To view the latest articles click on laterlife interest index. To search for articles about a certain topic, use the site search feature at the top right of the page.
Back to Laterlife Today

Visit our Pre-retirement Courses section here on laterlife or our dedicated Retirement Courses site


Advertise on

LaterLife Travel Insurance in Association with Avanti