With more people becoming health conscious, foods that were commonly eaten before are now coming under the scanner. White bread might have been a staple food for decades, but its high glycemic index has earned it a bad reputation among healthy eaters everywhere. Apart from spiking your blood sugar levels, white bread is also pumped with chemicals and preservatives. These additives might increase the shelf life of bread, but they aren’t doing any favors for your intestinal health. So do we need to shun all kinds of bread now? Thankfully, no. There are some varieties of breads that aren’t as widely sold, but are infinitely healthier than regular white bread. Here are seven kinds of bread you should look out for, some are even gluten-free!
1. Ezekiel Bread
If this sounds like an ancient, biblical bread, it’s because it is. Ezekiel bread is made in much the same way bread was originally made thousands of years ago. It uses sprouted whole grains and absolutely no sugar to make a delicious, nutritious loaf of bread. The sprouting process of whole grains is important because it increases the bioavailability of nutrients like folate and vitamin C. It’s especially important for vegetarians because it comprises of 6 different types of whole grains which together form a complete protein.
2. Flaxseed Bread
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for shiny hair, supple skin and healthy neurons. Flaxseeds are one of the few plant sources of high quality omega-3 fats. Flaxseed bread is made from sprouted flaxseeds and is a great low-calorie, healthy carb option. Studies even show that consuming flaxseed bread can help you lose weight, manage diabetes and avoid heart disease. When you’re buying flaxseed bread, always make sure that it is made from sprouted flaxseeds or flaxseed powder. Far too many brands simply sprinkle whole flaxseeds on the top of regular bread and pass it off as flaxseed bread.
3. Rye Bread
Rye bread went out of fashion for a while, but it’s time we brought it back. Studies conducted on the effects of eating rye bread found that mice who were fed this bread had lower insulin sensitivity, lower body cholesterol and had lost weight. It’s only natural to assume that humans would enjoy these very same benefits too if they began eating rye bread instead of wheat bread. Swapping out your regular breakfast bread for rye bread could be one of the healthiest diet decisions you make. Scientists have found that people who ate rye bread in the morning stayed fuller and less likely to want to eat up to 8 hours later.
4. Oat Bread
Oat bread is a great gluten-free option for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. While celiac disease affects only 1% of the population, almost 13% of people today are sensitive to gluten. Oat bread is incredibly healthy because it contains beta-glucan fibers. These fibers absorb excess cholesterol in the blood and lower your total cholesterol levels. Oat bread is also more nutritious than regular wheat bread because it contains more iron, protein, vitamin E and calcium. Eating oat bread could help you manage your weight better and lower your risk for heart disease.
5. Sourdough Bread
Sourdough bread gets its signature sour flavor from the fermentation process it undergoes. The batter for this bread is fermented using naturally occurring yeast and bacteria, then baked into a bread. Eating this bread is beneficial for your gut because the millions of good bacteria in it improve your digestion. In fact, even though sourdough bread isn’t strictly gluten-free, people with celiac disease can still eat it. Studies have shown that not only were people with celiac disease able to eat sourdough, but this bread actually helped their gut heal.
6. Amaranth Bread
Amaranth is a pseudo-grain, in that while it looks like a grain, it doesn’t belong to the same family at all. Because of this, amaranth is completely gluten-free. Amaranth is a nutritional powerhouse because it’s high in protein, can reduce inflammation, gives you strong bones and lowers your total cholesterol levels. If you’re going gluten-free, always read the label before buying amaranth bread. While amaranth in itself doesn’t contain any gluten, some brands mix amaranth flour with wheat flour to make their bread.
7. Whole Grain Bread
While all the breads we’ve spoken about so far are extremely healthy, they still aren’t available everywhere. If your local grocery store doesn’t stock these breads, don’t fret. Whole grain bread is very easily available and is just as healthy. Whole grain bread hasn’t been stripped of it’s nutritious outer husk, so it’s a lot more healthy than white bread. It contains more fiber, has a very low glycemic index and is rich in antioxidants. If you can find whole grain multigrain bread, that’s even better!