Does Einkorn Cause Inflammation? Gluten Free and Autoimmune Disorders
Where does einkorn wheat fit into special diets for those with gluten sensitivities or autoimmune disorders? One simple search on healthy eating in google brings up a plethora of diets. Keto and Paleo has gained popularity in recent years, especially for those with autoimmune disorders. Whole food diets push freshly soaked wheat in salads, while others like say “stay as far away from grains as possible!” Does Einkorn cause inflammation? How do I know if I can eat einkorn for my health or my family’s health? Eating for Celiac disease, gluten intolerance and autoimmune diseases all have rules and benefits. Lets make it simple so you can figure out what’s best for you and your family!
Note: I’m not a Medical Practitioner and am not here to diagnose or prescribe. Please seek out help and direction from your medical practitioner before trying einkorn if you are suffering from a health issue such as the ones indicated below.
Einkorn, Gluten Free and Grain Free Broken Down
It’s important to clearly lay out what you need from your food.
Here are some common purposes of food as well as special diets in our family kitchen.
- Anti-inflammatory. These foods won’t cause an auto immune response that triggers inflammation in the body
- Allergies. Similar to causing inflammation, allergic reactions to food can be small or quite dangerous.
- Nutrient Dense
- Easy to digest
What is Einkorn?
The ancient grain einkorn is the oldest form of wheat known to man. It’s been around for thousands upon thousands of years.
History of Einkorn
Einkorn beginnings are traced back to the fertile crescent! While people hunted and forged, they also ate grains such as einkorn or barley. I must admit diets such as “Paleo” led me to believe people did not eat grains. This is not correct! Wild einkorn would have been growing around the fertile crescent during that time. Several grains including einkorn wheat and barley are believed to have been forged by hunter gatherers. As often happens with old historical data, dates do not match up. My research concluded several different dates given for domestication of einkorn from 7,500 BC to 10,000. Basically, I take this to mean the exact dates are not known (I sure wasn’t there), but einkorn coincided with the beginning of man’s foraging for food.
How is Einkorn Different than Modern Wheat
Let’s start with the the physical aspects. Modern wheat is actually much bigger in size than einkorn. It contains 42 chromosomes while einkorn contains only 14. Einkorn wheat is also lacking the D chromosome: The one connected to wheat intolerance in many humans. That’s right. Perhaps that gives reason to people having an easier time with digestion. That’s one thought but there’s a whole lot more.
In addition, einkorn must have each individual berry hulled because it doesn’t separate from the kernel at harvest as modern wheat. It makes it much harder to harvest (taking off EVERY SINGLE hull). The beauty of it’s hull, though, is protection from mold and mycotoxins. This is yet another benefit that modern wheat has lost. Learn more about the history in this post.
Nutritionally, Whole Einkorn Flour contains 213% more lutein, 55% more riboflavin and 76% more manganese than modern wheat. It also contains about 50% less Phytic acid. This is what binds up minerals in modern grains, making them hard to absorb. In fact, many of the anti-grain diets base much or their fear of grain on the presence of phytic acid. Einkorn’s nutrients, on the other hand are much EASIER to absorb.
Does Einkorn Cause inflammation?
The opposite is true! The anti-inflammatory properties of einkorn flour are like no other grain! Using a sourdough starter is important to bringing out all the anti-inflammatory properties. Carotenoids are connected to helping reduce inflammation. We call them the “eye vitamins.” Lutein is one of them and this study shows a radical comparison of lutein when made with conventional flour versus the ancient grain einkorn. It’s pretty clear that the nutrients in einkorn are much more readily available and study after study is showing that einkorn will not cause inflammation. Instead, it helps prevent it! Does einkorn cause inflammation? No!
Does Einkorn Cause Inflammation for Autoimmune Disorders or Disease
What about autoimmune diseases? Does einkorn cause inflammation if you have an autoimmune disease? The problem with autoimmune disorders or diseases is that the body responds to specific foods as if they were enemies. Knowing these foods is important. Keep reading. We’ll check that out too.
Can I eat Einkorn with Autoimmune disorders
This is the question that doesn’t have a solid answer. Does einkorn cause inflammation? No. This ancient grain is a completely different structure than modern wheat. In addition, I’ve heard many success stories from those with autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s, be able to eat einkorn without their autoimmune numbers going up on tests. It’s such a new concept that you won’t find it in the google search bar.
The thing is that research hasn’t done is to show how “einkorn” specifically interacts with autoimmune disorders. People may have completely different foods that cause them autoimmune flare ups. The best rule of thumb for those with an autoimmune disorder is to either: 1. avoid all wheat including einkorn or 2. Talk to their medical provider and test the food and see what reaction it may or may not bring.
If you have an autoimmune disorder that lands you in the hospital should wheat get in your diet, it may not be the wisest to chance eating foods that could cause a flare up that big.
What We’ve Done with an Autoimmune Disorder
My son has PANDAS, which is a neuropsychiatric autoimmune disorder. Studies have shown that wheat does impact his autoimmune disorder but those studies were done with modern wheat. You might say we’ve tested einkorn in his diet because there’ve been times he’s had einkorn. Does it causes flare ups? I can’t say for sure. I do think it’s important to heal the gut as much as possible when trying to incorporate foods. It’s amazing how important our gut microbes are to preventing disease.
Autoimmune reactions can be caused by the healthiest foods. For my son with PANDAS, gelatin and eggs are the worst possible thing I could feed him. This means no “healthy bone broth.” Thus, even healthy einkorn has the potential to cause havoc on a body with an autoimmune disorder. Take caution with your decisions and collaborate with those who have good knowledge of both the food and autoimmune disorder.
Can I eat Einkorn with Gluten Sensitivities?
The simple answer to this question is “Yes!”
Einkorn is generally easy to tolerate for those with gluten intolerance. If you’re on a gluten free diet for gluten or even grain intolerance (I’ve personally struggled with several grains) einkorn could be a great option for you. The ancient grain einkorn, is missing the D chromosome that appears to be connected with wheat intolerance. As far as gluten, einkorn has a very weak gluten. Those 42 chromosomes contribute to a very hard to digest grain. Einkorn, with just 14 chromosomes, has a much simpler structure that makes it easier to digest.
Can I eat Einkorn with Celiac Disease
When einkorn first began it’s come back, those with gluten intolerance were thrilled. “We can eat wheat again!” Celiac patients on the other hand, can not. Because of the gluten, though small, they are not encouraged to eat einkorn. But wait…
As more and more studies come out, the outlook is changing. This recent post from Celiacs.com sites a study, showing einkorn lacks gliadin toxicity. Another study found those who ate celiac had a much lower toxicity BUT it still caused issues.
At this point it isn’t recommended for those with Celiac disease to eat einkorn. Yes, there have been many people who’ve successfully done it but I cannot recommend it until further studies have been one.
The good news is that celiac disease appears to not just be about “gluten” as was once believed. There is much more to it. There is also much more to einkorn that is just beginning to be revealed.
Making Einkorn Even Easier to Digest
There are two ways to help your ancient grain einkorn be more easily digestible and nutritious.
- Ferment it using a sourdough starter. Studies have shown this is great for digestibility as well as gut health!
- Sprout Einkorn! This can also help the nutritional and digestibility of this ancient grain. I share a simple tutorial on this HERE.
Other Posts You May Like
All About Einkorn Flour: What You Need to Know
A Simple Way to Increase Einkorn’s Nutrition
How to Find Time to Preserve with Kids
Recipes to Begin Using Einkorn
Simple Fluffy Einkorn Buttermilk Pancakes
Perfect Einkorn Sourdough Buttermilk Waffles
How to Make a Wholegrain Rustic Boule with Einkorn
Chewy Einkorn Chocolate Chip Cookies
Thanks for stopping by!
From the Hilltop,
I’m confused about the mycotoxin statement. Are the hulls that protect against mycotoxins indeed removed, thus removing any mycotoxins in einkorn flour, etc., that may have accumulated in the hull?
Dan, forgive me, I should have put that link in as well. https://jovialfoods.com/blog/how-we-remove-einkorns-husk/. I believe it’s the automatic removal of modern wheat hulls that leaves the wheat grain susceptible to getting moldy. The grain would be the part where mold would want to grow, but on einkorn the hull helps protect the wheat from the mold. Modern wheat tends to have more issues with mycotoxin/ mold contamination and they believe the strog hulls are my einkorn doesn’t have a serious issue with it. https://phys.org/news/2022-12-fungal-toxins-wheat-threat.html
This is so great, thank you so much! Do you know how einkorn works with PCOS?
I used to have PCOS but I didn’t discover einkorn until after I’d recovered from PCOS using a grain free/sugar free style diet. Because of the anti-inflammatory qualities as well as it’s ability to balance blood sugar levels it could be wonderful, unless there are underlying conditions contributing to the PCOS. I’d talk to a functional medicine doctor to give you better guidance. I do notice, as with any food, I can overdo it. thus introducing it a little at a time is great when dealing with other health needs. Good luck!
Gluten causes me to have a psoriasis flare. Down the road I think I will give Einkorn a try, I miss bread sometimes.
I avoided grains for several years before I discovered einkorn. I know there are so many parts to health and digestion but if it works that would be amazing. Definitely do what will nourish your body best. Thanks for stopping by!
This is such good information to have. Thank you!
Great information! Thank you for sharing!