Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Recognizes Health Benefits of Freekeh

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recently featured Freekeh on their website. Vandana R. Sheth, Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, was impressed with the health and nutritional properties of Freekeh compared to other grains: “It is higher in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and lower in glycemic index”.

They also mention some other health benefits of Freekeh;

    • Weight loss: Freekeh is very high in fibre and high in protein, so you can consume less and feel full. Fibre-rich diets have been linked to lower body weight.
    • Eye health: The antioxidants in Freekeh have been associated with the prevention of age-related degeneration and may help promote eye health.
    • Digestive health: The high fibre content in Freekeh may lower the risk of developing diverticular disease and prevent constipation.

These benefits are backed up by data collected by the CSIRO and others, you can find more information on our Health and Nutrition page.

The Many Benefits of Whole Grains

The benefits of eating whole grains extend far beyond their high fibre content. Whole-grain consumption is inversely related tohypertension, diabetes, and obesity when compared to refined grains, all of which are negative indicators in total cardiovascular health. Whole grains are rich in many components, including dietary fibre, starch, fat, antioxidant nutrients, minerals, vitamin, lignans, and phenolic compounds that have been linked to the reduced risk of CHD, cancer, DM, obesity and other chronic diseases. These effects are well documented, and include a 30-36% reduction in stroke risk, 21-30% reduction in risk of type 2 diabetes and 25-28% reduction in risk of heart disease. Whole Grains also contribute to body weight management and gastrointestinal health.

Despite these many benefits, dietary intakes of whole grains fall short of current recommendations to eat at least three servings daily. A nutrition survey conducted between 1999 and 2000 found that only 8 percent of U.S. adults consumed three or more servings of whole grain per day, and 42 percent of adults ate no whole grains on a given day. – What Are The Health Benefits? 

CSIRO Nutritional Analysis

The CSIRO (Australia’s national science agency) has investigated Greenwheat Freekeh and found it has several nutritional attributes that are superior to comparable cereal foods.

They found Freekeh was higher in protein when compared to couscous, and appreciably higher compared to white rice. They also reported that Freekeh has at least four times as much fibre as some other comparable grains, and consisted mostly of insoluble fibre which is important for digestion.

Average fibre consumption in Australia is 18-25 grams a day, below the recommended 30 grams. A low fibre diet may lead directly to constipation, haemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome and raised blood cholesterol. A CSIRO trial in 2004 found that Greenwheat Freekeh was associated with an improvement in nearly every bowel health measurement.

Freekeh contains high levels of resistant starch, which provides food for friendly bacteria, responsible for producing a substance called butyrate which may help prevent bowel cancer. A study published by the American Cancer Society in 2009 found incidence rates of colorectal cancer in people aged under 30 increased 5.2 per cent a year in men and 5.6 per cent a year in women between 1992 and 2005. The researches say an increase in consumption of fast food and processed meat may be to blame. Bowel cancer is the most common cancer in Australia to affect both men and women, responsible for 4000 deaths annually.

CSIRO Product Analysis – Greenwheat Freekeh:

CSIRO Human Feeding Trial, Effects of Greenwheat Freekeh on Bowel and Cardiovascular Health:

CSIRO Report on Glycaemic Index of Greenwheat Freekeh

Glycaemic index (GI) is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates that break down quickly and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream have a high GI; carbohydrates that break down more slowly, releasing glucose gradually, have a low GI. A lower glycemic response usually equates to a lower insulin demand, and may improve long-term blood glucose control and blood lipids. Recent research also suggests that high-GI carbohydrate is associated with increased risk of obesity.

The CSIRO (Australia’s national science agency) examined Greenwheat Freekeh and found both our Freekeh products are low-GI (Wholegrain Freekeh GI=43, Cracked GI=55). This is lower than the GI values of couscous (65), calrose rice (83) and basmati rice (58).

They also found the insulin response to Cracked and Wholegrain Freekeh was “exceptionally favourable”, suggesting that Freekeh may be helpful in the management and prevention of type 2 diabetes.

Report summary: