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Most breads labeled as “sourdough” on the market today are anything but.

These breads typically contain (genetically modified organism) yeast which is the giveaway clue that the bread is a fake sourdough and should be avoided if one seeks a healthy, traditionally baked loaf.

True sourdough bread does not contain yeast at all and instead utilizes a lactobacilli based starter culture. True sourdough bread is also baked at a lower temperature for a longer period of time, which protects the integrity of the cereal grains and preserves the nutritional value.

With sourdough without any yeast, not only is the nutritional value maintained, but antinutrients such as phytic acid are eliminated and gluten, that otherwise very difficult to digest plant protein, is broken down into vital beneficial amino acids.

Baker’s yeast was first introduced - as an alternative to sourdough starters - in 1668, in France.

Antinutrients are natural or synthetic compounds found in a variety of foods, especially grains, beans, legumes and nuts, that interfere with the absorption of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. They can even get in the way of our digestive enzymes, which are key for proper absorption.

Many different types of seed foods contain antinutrients like phytic acid, lectins and saponins naturally. The reason they contain these compounds that bind to vitamins and minerals, making them unabsorbable, is largely as a defense mechanism; their antinutrients help repel pests, bugs and other predators so the seeds are able to live on and reproduce.

Phytic acid, which is a known mineral blocker, is present in the bran (the coating of seeds) of all grains and inhibits the absorption of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, copper and zinc. This inhibitor and anti-nutrient can also neutralize our own digestive enzymes (amylase, trypsin and pepsin; amylase breaks down starch, while both pepsin and trypsin are needed to break down protein), resulting in the digestive disorders experienced by many people.

The phytic acid in grain needs to be 90% neutralized in order for the minerals to be absorbed by the human body. When you naturally ferment bread, you eliminate all phytic acid. About 90% of the phytic acid remains in breads made with instant yeasts.

Before the 1950’s, most bread bakeries ran two shifts of workers because the dough was fermented throughout the night with a long and slow process using a culture that contained the lactobacillus bacteria. This slow process was necessary for bread to be properly digested. In the process of making sourdough bread, the bran in the flour is broken down during the long rising time, releasing nutrients into the dough.

Only when wheat gluten is properly fermented it is healthy for human consumption. When not, although gluten sensitivity/intolerance in itself is not a disease, gluten is potentially one of the most highly allergenic foods we eat, being an enzyme inhibitor causing gastrointestinal distress and contributing to leaky gut syndrome or autoimmune disease, allergic reactions, asthma, cognitive problems, joint pain (rheumatoid arthritis), headaches and poor memory, widespread musculoskeletal pain (fibromyalgia), bone loss (osteoporosis), chronic fatigue syndrome, cancer (lymphoma), and psychological disorders.

In their efforts to increase profits and speed up the the bread making process, bakers began using new techniques that took only three hours to make a loaf of bread - and now can even take only one hour. They used the new instant yeasts, instead of the old way of making bread, using cultures and fermentation that not only help to preserve food, but also increase the nutrients available for our bodies.

During the making of sourdough bread, complex carbohydrates are broken down into more digestible simple sugars, and gluten proteins are broken down into essential amino acids. Enzymes develop during rising.

These enzymes are not lost while baking since the center of the loaf remains at a lower temperature than the crust. This fermentation, partly from lactobacillus, also allows for a bread that is lower on the glycemic index, thus making it better for those with blood sugar issues. The fermentation also helps restore the functioning of the digestive tract, resulting in proper assimilation and elimination.

The probiotic microorganisms from sourdough dissolve proteins by producing protein enzymes, thus loosening multiple peptide bonds so that you can absorb more amino acids into your body. They dissolve four main proteins in wheat that can cause allergic reactions: albumin and globulin (two with the most common culprits, people with a wheat allergy typically could having other grains that contain gluten), prolamin and glutelin (within wheat, prolamins are called gliadins and glutelins are called glutenins, these two protein groups forming the gluten). They also produce alcohol that dissolves the most stubborn water insoluble protein bonds, these bonds being the reason why so many people have gluten intolerance.

Most plant proteins including grains, seeds, cereals, beans, nuts, and some grasses form gluten. However, sourdough microflora has all the amino acids available, without the protein that forms gluten.

The probiotic microorganisms from sourdough provide vitamins B1 through B6 from lactobacillus and B12 vitamins from wild yeast.

Wild yeast multiplies aerobically. This is because they have oxygen in them (not free radical oxygen ions) that feed your blood cells and not cancer cells.

These changes in our bread have had devastating effects on our gut. Along with the overly processed foods, soil depletion, and the loss of fermentation and probiotic foods that heal and protect our bodies, our diets are wreaking havoc on our guts. This, in turn, is causing the rise in all kinds of food allergies. Our diets are a dim reflection of the nutrient-dense whole foods we used to eat years ago. Someone at a recent class asked why we are living longer if our diets are so bad. But this is actually not the case any more; we are not living longer, this trend has stopped. Not only that, the quality of our lives is in sad shape. How often do you see someone living vibrantly and without sickness or ailments? It is increasingly becoming the exception and not the norm. Pharmaceuticals are the norm and not the exception, and food allergies and gut issues are rampant along with a host of other health issues.

The average consumer is unaware of these changes in our food supply and then labels gluten and breads as the enemy, when they don’t realize the culprit is the dramatic changes in the actual process of making bread today.


La Dacul Liber ~ veleat 2013 pârgav