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What Is Black Wheat? Read About The Health Benefits Of This Gluten-Free, Superior Wheat Variety

A gluten-free, greyish-black variety, black wheat flour is produced by processing the seeds of the black wheat plant, which the Indian government developed in a lab in Mohali, Punjab [1].

NABI (National Agro-Food Biotechnology Institute) Mohali, Punjab (India) developed and produced black wheat in 2015. Purple and blue wheat are the other two variants of black wheat. A patent has been granted to the institute for the production of black wheat.

As its name implies, it has a high concentration of the pigment "anthocyanin", the chemical compound that gives fruits and vegetables their blue, black, red, or purple hues. They also serve as natural antioxidants, produced in a field at the time of grain filling, thus providing the wheat with a rich nutritional value.

Nutritional Value Of Black Wheat

Black wheat contains antioxidants, B vitamins, folic acid, selenium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, calcium, iron, copper, potassium, fibre, and amino acids. In addition, black wheat is enriched with 28 times more anthocyanins than conventional wheat varieties [2].

The main nutritional components of this super-food are as follows [3]:

• Anthocyanins
• Antioxidants
• Folic acid
• Dietary fibres
• High in iron.
• Gluten-free, thus suitable for those allergic to gluten.
• Vitamins- Infused with vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B9.
• Minerals include zinc, selenium, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, and phosphorus.
• Good source of amino acids that aid in tissue formation and body-building.

Health Benefits Of Black Wheat

1. Improves overall health

Regular and controlled consumption of anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant, protects against inflammatory disease and treatment for high blood pressure, colds, urinary tract infections, and heart disease. Additionally, it helps diabetic patients maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. According to some research, it may also be able to reduce obesity.

2. Enhances immunity

Black wheat flour contains more antioxidants than regular wheat, which maintains our antibodies and prevents the formation of free radicals. Furthermore, they protect against DNA damage and lipid peroxidation. Due to its high anti-inflammatory properties, it also multiplies the production of cytokines, which are small proteins that regulate our immune system [3].

3. Manages minor heart problems

The unsaturated fatty acids in black wheat are excellent for keeping the heart healthy. Therefore, people who are prone to experiencing heart disorders or other cardiovascular problems can include this super grain in their daily diet. Furthermore, it reduces the risk of strokes and other cardiac conditions [4].

4. Aids with weight loss

As a result of its high fibre content, black wheat keeps the stomach full and inhibits undesirable cravings. In addition, the low-fat content of black wheat flour, which exists in its unsaturated form, makes it perfect for people planning to lose weight.

5. Relieves constipation

Due to its high fibre content, it facilitates optimum digestion and prevents constipation and other gastrointestinal disorders. Furthermore, since it reduces unwanted cravings, issues such as constipation are greatly reduced [5].

6. Supports eye function

Anthocyanin deficiency can lead to night blindness due to insufficient nutrition. However, like black currants, black wheat helps minimize the risk of vision loss and free radical damage [6].

7. May reduce cholesterol and triglycerides

A rich source of amino acids, black wheat may help lower cholesterol levels by eliminating extra fat from the liver. Additionally, it is beneficial for individuals with high levels of triglycerides in their blood. Its ability to control these two factors further contributes to blood pressure control, thus contributing to the heart's overall health [7].

8. May enhance skin health

Black wheat has a six-fold higher total phenolic content (TPC), with ferulic acid accounting for most of its TPC. As an antioxidant, ferulic acid enhances the effects of other antioxidants, making it particularly useful for the skin when it comes to reducing fine lines, spots, and wrinkles [8].

How Is Black Wheat Different From White Wheat?

Both kinds of wheat differ primarily in the concentration of anthocyanins they contain.

A typical grain of regular wheat contains approximately five parts per million (ppm) of anthocyanin. In contrast, the black wheat grain contains approximately 100-200 ppm. In this regard, it is a healthier choice since a greater number of antioxidants helps rid the body of harmful toxins and free radicals, thus enhancing the body's overall health.

Furthermore, black wheat contains 35 per cent more zinc than regular wheat, thus improving the body's immune and metabolic function. In addition, the iron content of conventional wheat varieties is about 25 per cent. In comparison, black wheat has 60 per cent more iron- an enormous increase in haemoglobin and hormone levels in the body as a result [9][10].

How To Include Black Wheat In Your Daily Diet?

Black wheat flour can be used as a substitute for almost all food items containing white flour, maida, besan, or other similar ingredients. It can be used to prepare chillas, chapatis, cookies, idlis, and rotis.

On A Final Note...

Due to insufficient production, black wheat will likely cost twice or three times as much as regular wheat. Therefore, aside from Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, and Himachal Pradesh have also been introduced to black wheat farming and production.

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Story first published: Wednesday, July 27, 2022, 15:00 [IST]
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