Bread and heath issues
On this page, we will explain the relationship between bread and several aspects of our health. Two of our staff at the Fortino bakery have an university training on nutrition and chemistry. In our experience, we often see that what our customers need is a better understanding of their health issues and how to improve their diet. Our staff can give you advice on which of our products are best suited to your needs and your condition. If you need an in-depth consultation, you can arrange a medical consultation with Mar Abellán for nutrition, intolerance and candidiasis issues, and with Gemma Fortino’s for emotional conflicts and stress management issues that include any physical and / or emotional symptomatology.
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Bread and weight-loss diets
Bread is a food that mostly contains carbohydrates. It is very low on proteins, it does not contain fats (unless it contains seeds or dried fruit), or the vitamins we get from fruits and vegetables. Since it is a baked food, the vast majority of vitamins are lost in the baking process.
Long-chain carbon hydrates will become glucose when they enter our body. An excess of glucose will cause our liver to transform the glucose that our body does not use into fats and store them.
Weight loss diets are typically based on minimizing the intake of the most caloric foods, such as sugars, fats and many long chain carbohydrates.
The problem with these diets is that it takes a long time for the person to lose weight, and if not done well, there might be a bounce effect and the person ends up eating unhealthy foods.
Whole-grain breads help us not eat as much calories as the fiber satiates us, cleanses the gut and does not become glucose in our body. If, on top of it, the flour comes from a fiber-rich cereal or legume (such as rye or buckwheat), the results are even better.
In the past few years, the effects of another type of diet, the ketogenic diet , have been further investigated. It is a very effective diet, but it should be supervised by a nutritionist. It is a diet designed to cut the carbohydrate intake down so that the body begins to consume stored fats. The body no longer expects to receive carbohydrates in each meal, and thus, the metabolism based on the resistance of the insulin pump is cut off.
Insulin is the hormone that allows the glucose (once carbohydrates are digested) move into the muscles and other tissues so it can be used or stored. When we eat lots of carbohydrates and very frequently, the pancreas is used to generate insulin routinely, and even if we are on a diet, the body does not perceive it immediately, and it continues to do the same.
When we are not eating carbohydrates, once the body “remembers” that it does not have to generate so much insulin, it changes the way it absorbs the nutrients.
In the ketogenic diet, protein intake is enhanced and we can eat unsaturated fats, such as nuts or avocados.
The kind of bead we could eat if we are on this diet is the protein bread, made with a mixture of chia seeds, sesame and fennel, egg white and a bit of sodium bicarbonate to make it more spongy.
If we want to lose weight we should take other factors into account. The way we eat is very important. If the anxiety created by the stressful circumstances of our life affects the way we eat and it will make it harder for us to follow a weigh-loss diet. It is very important to look for ways to reduce stress such as doing sports, yoga, tai chi or other oriental disciplines, setting aside some time to ourselves or our hobbies, improving our social life, practicing meditation or mindfulness, or see a psychologist to solve emotional conflicts or the effects of past experiences that we have not been properly processed.
Bread and chronic inflammatory processes
Another way to improve our health is to take into account whether any of our common foods may be creating or perpetuating an inflammatory process. Symptoms such as chronic pain, tiredness, fluid retention (most commonly in women), difficulty in breathing, anxiety, diarrhea or other bowel disorder, may be caused by a long term inflammatory process.
One of the most studied aspects lately is the production of histamine as a result of the ingestion of certain foods. Histamine is an inflammatory hormone. The less inflammatory flours are the those that do not contain wheat gluten. In this sense, spelt, kamut, rye, buckwheat, quinoa and rice are healthier alternatives.
Bread and gut bacteria
Poor digestions are often related to poor gut flora. Millions of microorganisms live in our bodies and most of them are in symbiosis with us and help our immune sand digestive system. When our microbial flora has become impoverished we are at risk of suffering a lot of diseases, food intolerances and infections by candidiasis.
It is very important to recover the gut flora if we have been taking antibiotics or oral contraceptives. Also, when we have had a viral infection that has given us diarrhea or when we have been taking cortisone or other strong medications. Just by living in a large city our flora is impoverished, since we eat tend to eat more processed foods and less variety of them.
To balance the gut flora it is recommended to take probiotics at least twice a year. Your doctor or holistic practitioner can give you a good recommendation on this.
Traditional sourdough bread is rich in microbial flora. The bacteria and yeast present in sourdough help our digestion because during the bread fermentation and before the bread is baked, they already dissolve part of the gluten and eat some of the sugars. They leave residues of lactic acid and butyric acid, among others, which give more flavor to the bread. There are specific sourdoughs for each type of bread, to the point that the conglomerate of bacteria and fungi of sourdought can be a cultural heritage of a certain geographic area. A good example is the San Francisco bread , which is made with a sourdough that is more than one hundred years old.
By combining the consumption of bread with the intake of other fermented foods, we ensure that our intestinal flora is rich and varied. Other examples of fermented foods are miso (fermented soybeans), yogurt or kefir, chukrut, or kombucha tea among others.
Candida (Candida albicans) and other similar fungal species are harmful when they invade our gut. They are normally present in our gut in small quantities. However, they can be harmful if they grow too much. Candida can colonize other mucous membranes, such as the mouth, or the vagina, but their main focus is always the gut.
When we have an excess of this fungus, the sugars that we ingest will go to them and not to the good flora that helps us to digest. Knowing that sugars come from honey, table sugar, fruit, some vegetables, and cereals with high glycemic index, it is recommended that we avoid eating these kind of foods when we are fighting a candida infection.
It is also said that it is better to avoid fermentated foods (all foods that come from the action of yeast or bacteria) in a candidiasis-free diet. Bread and beer yeasts do not feed the fungus, on the contrary, they can even comptete with them. What happens is that sugars that come from fermented foods do feed the candida.
The most recommended diet in this case is one that avoids sugar, reduces carbohydrates and includes carbohydrates that come from whole-grain flours that are easy to digest. For some people this might mean avoiding wheat or gluten. We should not worry about the ingestion of yeasts unless we have a diagnosed intolerance to yeast, which is not always the case with chronic candidiasis.
If we feel bloated after our meals, it is probably because of the effect of feeding the pathogenic flora, such as candida. The microbes breathe and generate carbon dioxide in the gut, in a fermentative process.
If after we eat we feel bloated abdominal area, we might need to avoid the foods that may be causing it. Typically, wheat and dairy products.
In our bakery you will find a large assortment of cookies suitable for people who are following a candida diet. And our wheat-free integral breads are also suitable. In more strict diets or intolerance to yeast, our protein bread and unleavened spelt bread would be the best options.
Bread and stomach problems
Heartburn is also a very common health issue. The acidic sensation from the stomach often appears in people who are under a lot of stress, who have some type of alteration in the lower oesophageal valve or suffer from a hernia hernia, which allows the stomach acid splashes to return to the mouth.
Foods that are already acidic do not help in these cases. Coffee, sugar, citrus, tomato, and sourdough breads can aggravate heartburn worse.
We recommend eating small quantities of more soft breads and never consuming them when they are freshly baked. When the bread is still warm, it is more acidic than 12 hours after. We also recommend to toast the bread slightly. Our kamut-bread is one of the softest you can find and if you toast it will stay crispy but not dry.
Bread and celiac disease
Celiac disease is a gluten allergy. The body generates an immunse response in the gut when the villi come into contact with a protein called gluten. A severe gluten intolerance may also be considered as celiac disease.
Gluten is a key piece when making bread. It is the protein that allows the bread to become spongy and retains the carbon dioxide generated by ferments while they make the bread grow. Using a metaphor, gluten is the beams of a house, which allow for space inside.
As gluten is a large protein, the gut sometimes “thinks” it might be dangerous and attacks it. Celiac disease can affect both children and adults.
People who can not eat gluten because they have this pathology should avoid even gluten traces. A trace is a very small amount of some element or food that simply by contact can be found in a place where it should not be present. When all the bread is baked in the same workroom, as is our case, it is inevitable that any product may contain traces of the flours, nuts or any of the ingredients that we use.
That is why our gluten-free bread can not be consumed by a person with celiac disease. There are more specialized workrooms that only use gluten-free flours that offer products for people with celiac disease. We buy bars and muffins to one of these workrooms in order to be able to offer a healthy alternative to people who can not eat our gluten-free bread.
This is the link of the company that supplies our gluten-free products.