Antioxidants Present in Bread

A number of people, especially in the western countries, slice off the crust of their bread before eating it. This is utter folly! The brown crust of the bread, though a bit hard to chew, contains a number of antioxidants. This makes it far healthier than the rest of the bread itself. Antioxidants in bread are aplenty in its crust, and hence should be eaten and not thrown away.

Research on the goodness of bread, especially its crust, has been undertaken in Hamburg, Germany. Antioxidants in bread are considered to be potent cancer fighters. It is also a rich source of dietary fiber, which is important for regulating bowel movements. Consuming the crust along with the bread provides an influx of nutrients to the body, which help prevent colon and intestinal cancer.

A scientist named Hoffmann and his associates used a piece of sourdough bread as a research material. They studied the bread- prepared from rye and wheat flour- for its antioxidant content. They drew comparisons between the number of antioxidants found in the bread’s crust and its crumb. It was found that the crust has eight times the amount of antioxidants that the rest of the bread does. Bread is abundant in antioxidants, because of which the process of baking gives rise to an antioxidant named pronyl lysine. This was a novel discovery, because the compound was absent in the flour before it was baked.

Hoffmann’s collaborator, Veronica Faist who is a researcher at The Human Nutrition Science Institute in Germany, studied these findings. She found out that the antioxidants in bread are responsible for the formation of phase two enzymes in the stomach. These help cancer inhibition. By a process known as the Maillard process, the pronyl lysine in the bread reacts with starch and sugars, to give the brown coloring of the bread’s crust. This occurs during the baking process. The process of baking increases the amount of antioxidants in bread to a great extent.

Bread is a staple food in many countries. It is consumed as an accompaniment with meats, vegetables and as a constituent of many dishes. It is a wholesome food, and highly nutritious too. The nutrition content of bread significantly reduces though, if eaten without the crust. It contains the following:

Riboflavin– This is an essential vitamin necessary to boost immunity, improve nervous functioning and improves eyesight.

Niacin– this is an antioxidant important to improve skin health, liver function and reproductive abilities.

Folic acid– this is an important antioxidant which is essential for blood and bone health.

Blood sugar level– your body stimulates production of excessive insulin every time you munch on sugar or any sweet snack. If you have a sweet-tooth, your sugar level is going for a toss because it will be fluctuating constantly because of your regular sugar intake. Diabetes is a common affair in such cases but also there will be a gradual rise in your hunger pangs. To abandon this diabolical cycle eat bread and stay fit.

Dietary fiber – hunger is a disease that silently kills your willpower to sustain by avoiding voracious eating habits. A person often experience hunger even after having a three-course meal, the reason being that the meal was not balanced as it did not contain any fibrous food item. Bread contains fiber which is not only nutritious but reduces your craving instantly.

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