Freekeh, also known as farik, is a delicious, nutty-flavored type of wheat that is harvested when it is still young and green. Traditionally, this grain was roasted over an open fire so that the chaff and straw could be burned off. The leftover result is a slightly chewy but still firm grain that can be used to make bread and other baked goods. Although freekeh is “new” to Western countries like the U.S., it has an ancient past and has been a staple grain in the Middle East for thousands of years. Freekeh is increasing in popularity these days because of its numerous health benefits as well as its nutty, slightly smoky flavor. If you’re searching for a superfood that can elevate your health, consider adding this ancient grain to your diet.
When our digestive tracts get bogged down, we tend to know it pretty quickly. From constipation to indigestion, our digestive tract is often quick to let us know when there’s a problem. To reduce digestive woes and support optimum digestive health, it’s crucial to eat fiber-rich foods that keep the digestive tract on track. Freekeh can be a rich source of dietary fiber. Eating freekeh lends more bulk to the digestive tract to support regularity. It can also help ease symptoms of digestive ailments like diarrhea or constipation. To obtain these benefits, simply enjoy freekeh a couple of times during the week. Exchange your unhealthy white bread for a few slices of freekeh to enhance your digestive health.
Treatment for IBS
People experiencing inflammatory bowel syndrome have reported fewer flare-ups by eating more healthy grains like freekeh. This grain appears to have the power to reduce symptoms of IBS and leaky gut syndrome. Many digestive complaints like leaky gut syndrome occur as a result of too much candida in our digestive tract. Freekeh comes along with its fiber to wash away this excess of yeast to alleviate its symptoms. If you suffer from excess candida or IBS, you should consider adding more healthy grains like freekeh to your weekly meals. Naturally, it’s important to discuss these conditions with your doctor, but often a change in diet can dramatically alleviate symptoms and reduce the occurrence of these digestive complaints.
Protect Your Eyes
Decreasing eye health is, sadly, something most people must be concerned about as they age. Fortunately, there are things we can address through diet alone that can promote good eye health. Freekeh lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that can promote healthy vision. While some other foods contain these carotenoids too, many of the foods we eat regularly do not. To ensure that you’re getting these nutrients that are so important to eye health, consider eating some freekeh each week.
Blood Sugar Management
As many Western countries like the U.S. struggle with the epidemic of obesity, we have witnessed an increase in the number of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Often, it’s poor diet and obesity that lead to the development of this disease. Freekeh is a grain that can help people who have diabetes as well as people who are at increased risk for diabetes to develop. Freekeh helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels as it has a low glycemic index. Many dieticians recommend ancient grains like freekeh to people who are in need of healthy dietary changes as a result of their diabetes or diabetes risk.
Rich Source of Protein
Many of us are well aware that we need protein in our diets. We might even realize that protein is important for building and repairing muscle. Yet, the fact is, protein is integral to good health for many other reasons too. A component of every cell in our bodies, protein is needed to build and repair tissue, build hair and nails, produce essential molecules like hormones and enzymes, and make other vital aspects of our bodies like skin, bones, and even blood. As you can see, protein is fairly involved with much of what we are. So, it simply makes healthy sense to include plenty of protein in our diets. Enjoy a slice of freekeh bread with your lunch or dinner to enjoy its delicious taste and satisfy your body’s endless need for protein.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Do you love carbs but want to lose weight? The trick, as most healthcare experts will tell you, is to cut back on unhealthy carbohydrates like processed grains (i.e., white bread) and pastries and eat more healthy carbs like freekeh. Sure, you add whole wheat pasta to your diet and trade in your white rice for brown rice, but many people are finding that it’s no great sacrifice to replace their white bread with freekeh as it’s so delicious. Eating freekeh allows you to get your tasty carb fix, it also leaves you feeling fuller for an extended period. Consequently, you enjoy your healthy carb and are less likely to reach for one that’s going to elevate your caloric intake and detract from your health and healthy weight.
We’ve already noted how freekeh supports muscle building and repair with its rich protein content, but it also provides health benefits for muscles because it contains glutamic acid which synthesizes into glutamine. Glutamine supports muscle endurance and strength. Moreover, you don’t have to be an athlete to require this type of support. As we age, it becomes increasingly important to support our muscular health. Of course, if you are active or plan to be, it makes sense to include healthy sources of glutamic acid like freekeh in your eating plan.
Keep Cancer at Bay
Did you know that high-fiber diets are associated with a decrease in the risk for many cancers? Research has demonstrated that works wonders for our bodies and health. Eating a fiber-rich diet can decrease the risk of diseases like colorectal cancer. There’s even some evidence that it can help ward off breast cancer. If you want to reduce your risks for developing cancers like these, it’s important to ramp up your fiber intake, and freekeh is a tasty way to do just that.
Reduce Your Risk for Heart Disease
Freekeh is definitely a superfood with its abilities to ward off diseases like diabetes and certain cancers. Guess what? It appears to help reduce the risk of heart disease too. Again, its the fiber that makes freekeh such a potent defense against the development of these conditions. The simple fact is, according to scientific research, that high-fiber diets are linked to reduced risk for heart disease. To enjoy a heart-healthy diet with plenty of fiber, reach for freekeh then next time you shop for grains.
Good Source of Iron
Iron is a key nutrient that our bodies need–especially our blood and muscles. Freekeh is rich in iron, so it can help guard against conditions like anemia. Although good sources of iron are red meat, many people are anxious to reduce their intake of red meat to reduce their risk of heart disease and other conditions. Consequently, it becomes vital to find a healthy source of iron. Simply by eating more healthy super grains like freekeh, you can ensure that your body gets the iron it needs for optimum health.