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All about “Spelt / Spelled”, a variety of wheat cereal

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Spelled history

Spelled ( Triticum speltum ) is a variety of the wheat cereal. It has long been cultivated extensively in Europe until the 20 th   century. Considered the ancestor of wheat, its yield is however very low compared to other wheat species. The grains of spelled are small, brown and strongly adhere to the outer covering of the grain compared to other varieties of wheat. The grain of spelled must be peeled because its bark is indigestible to humans.

Nutritional value of spelled

Spelled grains, cooked (100 g / 125 ml)
Calories 130
Fat 0.9 g
Protein 5.6g
Carbohydrates 27.1g
Fibers 4 g
Iron 1.7 mg
Manganese 1.1 mg
Vitamin B3 / niacin 2.6g
Phosphorus 150 mg

Source: Canadian Food File, 2009.

Health profile of spelled


Spelled is a source of dietary fiber, mainly insoluble. Fibers have different roles to play at the physiological level including the regulation of gastrointestinal function, the reduction of cholesterol levels as well as the management of glycemia (blood sugar level). They also contribute to the feeling of satiety which can help in weight management by reducing energy intake. There are also many, but not all, studies that claim that adequate fiber intake would protect against colon cancer.


This whole grain is also richer in iron than most other grains. This mineral is essential for the transport of oxygen and the formation of red blood cells in the blood. It also plays a role in the production of new cells, hormones and neurotransmitters (messengers in nerve impulses). The non-heme iron present in spelled is of plant origin and is less absorbed in the human body than heme iron from animal sources. It is therefore advisable to combine a food rich in vitamin C to optimize its absorption.


Spelled also contains more protein than other cereals which makes it a good choice of food to bring the feeling of satiety.

Vitamins and other minerals

Spelled contains manganese. Manganese acts as a cofactor for several enzymes, thereby facilitating a dozen different metabolic processes. It also protects the body from damage caused by free radicals. There is no recommended nutritional intake for manganese, but sufficient intake which is 1.8 mg to 2.3 mg in adults. One serving of spelled contains 1.1 mg.

Spelled also contains niacin or vitamin B3 which participates in many metabolic reactions and contributes particularly to the production of energy from the carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and alcohol that we ingest. It also collaborates in the DNA formation process, allowing normal growth and development.

This cereal is also rich in phosphorus, the second most abundant mineral in the human body. It is an important component of bones and teeth. Phosphorus also plays a role in blood pH (acidity level) by neutralizing excess acids or alkalis. It is used to store and produce the energy that the body needs. Phosphorus is also present in DNA and RNA molecules and is therefore necessary for growth.

Spelled also provides magnesium, potassium, zinc and vitamin B1.

Use of spelled

With its light nutty taste, spelled flour is used in baking, especially for making breads, pasta, cookies and also pasta. Once peeled, the grains can be used as an accompaniment like rice or added to soups and cold salads. They require a cooking time of 50 to 60 minutes and require prior soaking in water for a period of 8 hours. The grain of amaranth remains slightly crisp even after soaking and cooking.

It is important to note that spelled is a source of gluten. People with celiac disease should therefore avoid all products containing spelled.

A word from the nutritionist

Spelled is certainly a cereal to integrate into your diet. For its nutritional value more interesting than standard wheat, we try to consume this grain or its derivative products like bread a few times a week.

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