Today we wanted to talk about sourdough.
Sourdough bread is an old favourite that has recently risen in popularity.
Many people consider it to be tastier and healthier than conventional bread. Some even say that it’s easier to digest and less likely to spike your blood sugar.
It’s believed to have originated in ancient Egypt around 1,500 BC and remained the customary form of bread leavening until baker’s yeast replaced it a few centuries ago.
Traditional sourdough fermentation relies on “wild yeast” and lactic acid bacteria that are naturally present in flour to leaven the bread.
Wild yeast is more resistant to acidic conditions, this is what allows it to work together with lactic acid-producing bacteria to help the dough rise.
Although sourdough bread is often made from the same flour as other types of bread, the fermentation process improves its nutrition profile in several ways.
Firstly, whole grain breads contain a good amount of minerals, including potassium, phosphate, magnesium and zinc.
Unfortunately, the absorption of those minerals is limited by the presence of phytic acid, which is commonly referred to as phytate. Phytates are considered antinutrients because they bind to minerals, reducing your body’s ability to absorb them.
Interestingly, the lactic acid bacteria found in sourdough bread lower the bread’s pH, which helps degrade phytates. This results in a bread that has a much lower phytate content than other types of bread.
Lower phytate levels increase mineral absorption, which is one of the ways in which sourdough bread is more nutritious than conventional bread.
Moreover, studies show that the lactic acid bacteria present in sourdough bread have the ability to release antioxidants during sourdough fermentation and reduce gluten content.
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