Is sourdough good for you? Here are 6 reasons why it is
Who doesn’t love a flavourful sandwich on this delicious bread? There’s something about that tangy loaf that accents just about anything you pair with it. But did you know your body loves it just as much as your taste buds do? Alongside its great taste, it also has a laundry list of unique health benefits.
1. Your Body Absorbs More Nutrients
Any loaf in general is packed with vitamins and minerals, especially those made with whole grains instead of refined grains. The problem is that in most breads, your body doesn’t absorb those nutrients well because the loaves contain an acid called phytate. The phytates bond to many minerals and prevent your body from absorbing them.
In sourdough bread, on the other hand, there are healthy bacteria that change the acid balance. This limits the phytates and lets your body reap the rewards of those nutrients that would pass you by in other loaves.
2. You Get More Antioxidants
“Antioxidant” is more than a buzzword in the nutrition world. These powerful molecules help your body ward off illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
This type of loaf has a different fermentation process than others. During that fermentation process, a happy accident occurs: the healthy bacteria release antioxidants. Your body gets the full advantage of those antioxidants when you enjoy a slice.
3. Your Digestive System Gets a Break
Digestive problems can turn any day into a rough one, and some people’s digestive systems are more sensitive than others. No matter how strong you believe your stomach is, sourdough bread is easier to digest than others.
This isn’t a coincidence. It contains both probiotic bacteria and prebiotics that feed your healthy gut bacteria. Both of those combine forces to make the loaf healthier for your digestive process.
4. It’s Free From Gluten
Speaking of digestion, the health benefits of sourdough also means you get to take advantage of it being gluten-free. When you’re conscious of whether sourdough bread is fattening, this is also a nifty benefit, as it features lighter ingredients that are gentler on your stomach and digestive system.
5. It’s Ideal for Weight Loss
This type of bread is friendlier on your system than others – like white or even multi-grain. It’s also far better at regulating blood sugar levels over commercial alternatives. When consumed in the morning, it also works towards filling you up and suppressing your appetite for longer, making sourdough bread less fattening than alternatives. This means you’re less likely to binge on other foods or snack when you don’t necessarily need to – something your weight loss journey will thank you for.
And then there’s the texture
Who doesn’t love the unique, crispy, airy – yet still crunchy – texture of sourdough? No other loaf does it quite the same, so this is definitely a benefit worth keeping in mind.
Beyond Soughdough’s Health Benefits
What Does it Contain?
Half the appeal of this kind of loaf is the fact that it blends in a number of flavours through various flours. But because these loaves are more complex in makeup, it also means their nutritional profile differs from one batch to the next. Essentially, however, sourdough is perfect for balancing out your diet, especially when you’re trying to avoid other types – like white.
For the calorie-conscious, 100g carries around 230 calories, less than 1 of fat and roughly 47g carbohydrates. Then there’s its low sugar content – approximately 1g of which is naturally derived. And if you’re in the market for extra protein, well, sourdough has plenty of that too! Top it off with a plethora of vitamin B (like folate and iron) and minerals that your body will thank you for (zinc and selenium).
It has a great taste profile
Thanks to the balance of acetic and lactic acids in this type of mixture, the fermentation process means flavours are brought to the forefront. Opting for a longer fermentation process also means you’re more likely to get a distinct flavour that you won’t forget any time soon.
Opting for More Than the Taste
Sourdough is a longstanding favourite for sandwiches and snacks alike, and most of its fans choose it because it tastes good. Little do they know that their bodies are enjoying health benefits from their choices, too. But if you’re not sure where to start, a great first step is to opt for a loaf that’s darker in appearance. These typically mean more wholewheat flours – like spelt or rye – and gives an extra boost of fibre.