Spelt (Triticum spelta), an ancient cousin of regular wheat (Triticum aestivum), predates many of the hybrid wheat forms used in baking today and was very popular with the Romans. These days it is making something of a comeback for a number of reasons: not least of which is that it seems to be better tolerated by people with wheat sensitivities than bread made from of its more inbred cousins. Spelt also contains lots of fibre and has a fairly low glycaemic index, making it ideal for stabilising blood sugar levels and keeping the bowel healthy. According to food scientists, spelt bread also contains mucopolysaccharides, a special type of starch that appears to play an important role in blood clotting.
What’s more, the gluten in spelt is more water soluble than the kind found in wheat, which seems to facilitate better absorption of the vital substances present in the grain, such as B complex vitamins, by the human body. The upshot: higher nutritional intake for less digestive work without the spikes in blood sugar. Plus, you get the great taste and texture of a wheat bread but with less likelihood of experiencing ill effects.