*Don’t forget about this weeks’ GIVEAWAY! You have until Friday at midnight (CST) to enter to win!*
Well, now that we’ve covered the basics of getting our food storage together, let’s get into some good information about these foods we’re storing. Why? Because I gotta tell ya… it is so much more fun to store them once you know how awesome they are! And to start it off, let’s talk about one of the most amazing of all… wheat!
Technically, wheat is a plant (grass), and what we eat (or grind into flour) are actually the wheat berries (which is the grain). However, most of us refer to the wheat berries simply as wheat. For simplicity purposes, I will also do the same.
Wheat really is amazing. Just look at all of these awesome aspects:
- It can be a carbohydrate, a vegetable (sprouted), and even a “meat” (wheat gluten)
- It has nearly an indefinite shelf life when stored properly (they have found living wheat (meaning the grain was able to be sprouted) that was stored in the Egyptian pyramids thousands of years ago!)
- It’s inexpensive (even with the costs rising)
- It’s extremely nutritious–it contains 7 of the 8 essential amino acids our body needs as well as many valuable minerals and vitamins
And that’s just scratching the surface. Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits of whole wheat:
- Whole wheat is a very good source of dietary fiber and manganese which helps to regulate your body functions.
- It also helps to regulate your blood pressure, hormones, strengthen your heart functions, and lower cholesterol.
- Other benefits range from cancer prevention to protection against diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and free radical damage to the structure of your cells.
- It also helps maintain a healthy body weight since you can eat less and still be full compared to the processed and refined flours (not to mention you will be full for a longer amount of time as well).
Amazing, right?! All this from a little bitty grain. I’m telling y’all… it really is worth its weight in gold!
However, there is a word of caution to be said as well. You can wreak havoc on your body if you go too quickly from having no whole wheat in your diet to a diet where all of your carbs are whole wheat (and by ‘wreak havoc’ I mean severe dehydration and potentially death). Yes… it can be that hard on your body to make such a huge and dramatic switch in a short period of time. SO. That being said, may I suggest that if you currently do not include whole wheat in your diet, that you start working it in. Again, don’t just switch cold turkey (although it’s tempting now that you know how amazing this stuff is, right?!). 🙂 Start by using half white and half wheat flour to make things like your breads and cookies. If you don’t make your own bread, purchase breads that list “whole wheat” (and not just ‘wheat’) as the first ingredient. Find little ways to start integrating it into your diet so that when the time comes when you do need to rely on your wheat storage, your body will not go into shock. (Note: A severe diet change like this would be particularly hard on young children. So PLEASE be sure that any children you have at home are regularly getting whole wheat in their diets.)
One other thing to be aware of is that some people suffer allergies to wheat (or more specifically the gluten content in the wheat). This is known as Celiac Disease. People with this sensitivity cannot eat wheat in its carbohydrate form. However, many of them can still eat wheat if it is sprouted into its vegetable state (although, it would be wise to still use caution and use another option if it is available). Always be sure to store other forms of whole grain in the event that you or one of your loved ones will not be able to consume whole wheat.
Alright. I think that about does it for now. 🙂 Next week we’ll talk about how to purchase and store our wheat. Until then, happy and healthy eating to y’all!