The return of the ancient grains – Kamut
The most splashing return belongs to this ancient grain. In 2014 the sales increased for incredible 686 % , and that is far bigger increase than the second on the list, spelt with 363% (WGC, 2014). This increase is only in recent years, as in 1960 in Montana State Fair it was presented and didn’t got many attention. Kamut or khorashan (Triticum turgidum turanicum), belongs to the same family as wheat, along with einkorn, farro and spelt, and this may point to one of the reasons for such sales increase, probably because consumers are trying to replace common wheat. Wheat’s consumption in US is about one two thirds of all grains consumed, and worldwide is the third most produced grain after corn and rice. Although on the bad side it is not gluten free grain, but still more people can tolerate it than wheat (WGC 2, 2015).
The oldest varieties of wheat had fourteen chromosomes, but they are mainly extinct, the ancient varieties that can still be found as durum and kamut have twenty four chromosomes, whereas modern varieties of wheat have forty two chromosomes.
One serving or 45 g dry grain has total amount of recommended daily value for selenium and manganese. It has high amount of dietary fiber and thiamin (vitamin B1), and has significant amount of magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and niacin (vitamin B3). This grain also has significant amount of protein, and among all wheat varieties is between ones with highest values for protein and copper. What differentiates kamut for other wheat varieties is the highest amount of thiamin (WGC 1, 2015).
Locomotor system is highly dependent on minerals, and almost all of them are fond in kamut. Manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and proteins are necessary for maintenance of bones. Manganese and copper also contribute to formation of connective tissue, and additionally magnesium is necessary for muscle function. Manganese, magnesium and phosphorus all contribute to normal energy yielding metabolism. Manganese, zinc and selenium protect cells form oxidative stress and phosphorus is necessary for normal function of cell membranes. One of the most discussed rolls of magnesium is the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. Also it contributes to electrolyte balance, normal function of nervous system, normal physiological functions and protein synthesis. Zinc contributes to normal cognitive function, is important for fertility reproduction, acid-base balance, and many metabolic processes as macronutrient, fatty acid, vitamin A metabolism and many other functions. Zinc and selenium are necessary for healthy skin and nails, but they are most known for their supportive function of immune system. Vitamins found in kamut have similar properties. Thiamin and niacin also contribute to energy yielding metabolism, to normal function of the nervous system, physiological function. Thiamin also contributes to normal function of the heart, and niacin is responsible for reduction of tiredness and fatigue, and is necessary for normal skin (EC, 2015).
The minerals and vitamins found in kamut are generally found more or less in all other ancient grain, and from their function a conclusion for health benefits of this kamut and all ancient grains can be extracted.
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