sexta-feira, 5 de julho de 2013

Wheat

                           

Etymology

The port. esp. wheat, respectively 1112 and 964 (in the form triigo archaic Portuguese), is the lat. Triticum, 'wheat'. The it. grano, frumento, fr. blé, c. 1080 and ing. wheat, al. Weizen, both century. IX, of Germanic origin, translate the port. esp. Wheat.

Conceptualization

Wheat is a cereal grain of the grass family (see), the genus Triticum, which comprises about 24 species, of which the most extensively grown are T. and T. aestivum durum.
It is the most important cereal for human consumption, in temperate regions. Rice, its nearest competitor, and corn predominate in tropical regions.

Character

The plant has roots fasciculate, hows erect, cylindrical, with five to seven knots and solid internal hollow in most varieties. The leaves are linear, simple, paralelinérveas with sheaths usually cover about 2/3 of the stem, with ligules and auricles.
 
The inflorescence is a spike, with spikelets sessile. Each spikelet consists of two sterile bracts or glumes and two to five flowers. Each flower has two glumes: the lemma and palea, three stamens and a pistil, and two small lodículas base.

The fruit is a caryopsis, small, dry, indehiscent, with a single seed, thin pericarp, embryo and endosperm. Is colored red, white or intermediate in the vitreous endosperm, the color is darker, and when floury clearer.

The plant is an annual cycle with about 90 to 180 days, depending on the environment and genotype. The scale ranges from 20cm to about 2m tall. There are varieties that require cold, without which it completes its cycle and others whose flowering depends on the duration of the day.

                
 
Cultivation

The major wheat producing areas are in the temperate zones and moderate rainfal. Cultures make up the plains to facilitate the use of machines.

Among the main foods of the world wheat is the one who needs less water.

Excessive rainfall combined with high temperatures favors diseases and pests. The major producing areas are in the former USSR, the U.S. and Canada, Western Europe, in southeastern Australia, in the valleys of the Indus and the Ganges in India and Pakistan, the pampas of Argentina, in the north of China and in the valley of Nile.

 
As for the cycle there are two types of wheat: the spring one, planted in spring and harvested in the summer and winter, and that planted in fall and harvested in late spring and summer.
 
The winter wheat is planted in regions of moderately cold winter  with dry and warm summers. Wheat planted in the fall just get rain and snow which with the thaw to reach the spring, the soil slowly fills with water.
 
The spring wheats are planted in temperate regions and cold weather where wheat would not survive the winter especially when you have no protection from the snow. Are also planted in regions where winter is mild, therefore in general do not depend on the cold to complete their cycle. Closest to the tropics and also near the Arctic are regions where spring wheat is planted.

Use as Food

Part of wheat used for human consumption is the endosperm of the fruit, which turns into flour by grinding operation based on a different degree of friability of the endosperm and embryo bark. While the endosperm under pressure is broken into smaller and smaller particles and to shell-less embryo it can be separated by sieving to form the bran used in diets for domestic animals, particularly cattle and poultry.

The more white wheat flour bark and embryo contains less,since the higher levels of vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats are in the embryo and shell. Hence the most nutritious is the whole wheat flour although dark and difficult for maintenance due to  its enzyme content.

The protein of wheat flour is gluten which determines the quality of the bread making it soft and contribute to its nutritional value. The flour has about 12% protein the rest is mostly starch.

There are various types of wheat: hard, medium, soft and a special type, the species Triticum durum for pasta like noodles.

Durum wheat are rich in gluten and is of greater strength serving especially as brokers or enhancers of soft wheats, so called by the qualities of his weak gluten and the average intermediaries. The soft wheats produce flour for better cakes, cookies, pies, etc..

History

The development and progress of mankind are closely linked to the history of wheat.

Archaeological excavations in Southern France and Switzerland have found fossilized grains of wheat along with human bones. These findings and many others prove that already in prehistoric times wheat was a staple food of man.

The use of wheat began when in some regions of the world  man has ceased to be nomadic picked vegetables as they found them, and going over to the orderly planting of cereals. It is believed that civilizations and grain crops have emerged nearly simultaneously and perhaps due to one another.

Scientists think that wheat was first cultivated, between the Tigris and Euphrates in ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq). In 1948, the American scientist Robert Braindwood discovered wheat seeds  in Iraq dating back to approximately 6700 BC. The two types of wheat found by Braindwood are very similar in many aspects to wheat currently cultivated.

The Bible makes frequent references to the production, use, storage and wheat diseases. Through it we learn that the wheat was an important food in Palestine and Egypt. Theophrastus, a  Greek philosopher, who lived around 300 BC wrote about various types of wheat that grew throughout the Mediterranean basin.

Wheat was planted in China long before the birth of Christ.

In Rome, wheat was the noble cereal preferred by the rich while the poor and the slaves had to be content with barley. From the Mediterranean region the grain was taken to the rest of Europe and in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland was gradually replacing other cereals used for food.

Wheat came to America in the Age of Discovery when Columbus brought some seeds from Europe in 1493. Hernando Cortez introduced the cereal in Mexico in 1519. From there some missionaries brought it to the current U.S. states of Arizona and California.

Wheat germ 
 
                      

Obtained as wheat germ product whole wheat is unchanged by grinding.Contains tiny deposits of natural vitamins with high content in group B and vitamin E (a-tocopherol). It also contains vitamin K, provitamin A, D, F cutaneous active substance and vitamin B12, anti anemic, as well as valuable biological amino acids, unsaturated fatty acids combined with organic mineral makes absorption easier, including phosphate 50 % besides manganese, manganese, cobalt and copper, with trace of Vitamins Vitamins B1, B2, nicotinic acid, starch, vitamin E, vitamin B6, vitamin H (biotin), vitamin H' (paraminobenzóico acid), folic acid and auxonas numerous enzymes and are present at levels exceptionally high.
 
The protein, fiber (which promotes intestinal health, coronary and can prevent excessive weight) and plant sterols. It is a good source of unsaturated fatty acids such as omega 3, healthy fat that can help lower cholesterol levels harmful LDL (low density lipoprotein).
 
The wheat germ is beneficial in diabetes, since vitamin E reduces blood sugar levels and vitamin B1 has effects similar to insulin, thus normalizing the metabolism of diabetics. Auxonas identified in the germ responsible for growth, proliferation and regeneration of cells and tissues that occurs primarily during sleep, so that the consumption of the germ is also indicated in cases of nervous disorders such as insomnia, multiple sclerosis and exhaustion.
 
Already pantothenic acid is indicated for diseases of the skin such as dryness, dandruff, eczema, or acne which is why wheat germ oil is often used in cosmetics and home shopping, for example, used for simple facemasks prevention wrinkles and hydration.

14 recipes with wheat germ
 
 
Unfortunately wheat has been a plant that has been genetically modified (GM) in some countries like the United States of America:
 
 
Right now we are witnessing a great manifestation of people around the world against GM food for which in the U.S. the company of Monsanto it is largely responsible:
 
 
Spelled

Spelt is an ancient grain whose heritage traces back well before many wheat hybrids.
Many of its benefits come from the following fact: offers a broader spectrum of nutrients compared to many of its cousins of purest family of Triticum (wheat). Spelt has a number of different nutrients. It is an excellent source of vitamin B2, a good source of manganese and a good source of niacin, thiamin, and copper. This special combination of nutrients that it provides us can make it in a food especially useful for people with migraine, atherosclerosis, or diabetes.
 
Reduce the risk of atherosclerosis
 
Worried about atherosclerosis?
 
Increase your intake of spelled. This ancient grain is a good source of niacin, which has numerous benefits to cardiovascular risk factors. Niacin can help lower total cholesterol and lipoprotein levels. Lipoprotein, Lp or is a molecule composed of protein and fat which is found in plasma and is very similar to LDL cholesterol, but is even more dangerous as it has an additional adhesive protein molecule called apolioprotein, which makes it more Lp capable of attaching to the walls of blood vessels.
 
Niacin can also help to prevent free radicals from the oxidation of LDL which only becomes potentially harmful to the blood vessel walls after oxidation. Finally, niacin can help reduce platelet aggregation, platelet aggregation that together may result in the formation of blood clots. Two grams of spelled flour will provide 24.0% of the daily value for niacin.
 
The fiber can also help reduce total cholesterol levels and LDL type. The presence of fiber also helps to reduce cholesterol spelled potential. The fiber binds bile acids which are used to make cholesterol. That is not absorbed and emerges from the body in the faeces takes bile acids, making them less available for the production of cholesterol.
 
Significant Cardiovascular Benefits for Postmenopausal Women
 
Eating a serving of whole grains at least six times a week is a favorable idea for postmenopausal women with high cholesterol, high blood pressure or other signs of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
 
Prevention of Gallstones
 
Eating foods high in insoluble fiber such as spelled can help women avoid gallstones. Studying the intake of fiber in general consumed and types of fibers made researchers discover that those who consume a larger number of fibers (soluble and insoluble), had 13% lower risk of developing gallstones, compared to women who consume minimal fiber foods.
 
Fiber from whole grains and fruits protect against breast cancer
 
When the researchers looked at the amount of fiber consumed 35,972 female participants in the UK, found a diet rich in fiber from whole grains, such as spelled, and fruits that offer significant protection against breast cancer, for premenopausal women.
 
Cereal and fruit fiber protective against breast cancer in postmenopausal
 
Results of a prospective study involving 51,823 postmenopausal women with an average of 8.3 years showed a 34% reduction in the risk of breast cancer for those who consume more fruits and fiber compared to those consuming less. Furthermore, in the subgroup of women who have used hormone replacement therapy, those who consume more fiber, especially cereal fiber obtained a 50% reduction in the risk of breast cancer compared to those who consume the least.
 
Whole grains and fish are highly protective against childhood asthma.
 
Nearly 20 million Americans suffer from asthma, which turns out to be responsible for 14 million lost school days in children and an annual economic cost of more than $ 16.1 billion.

The increased consumption of whole grains and fish could reduce the risk of childhood asthma by about 50%, suggests the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood.
 

Features that promote health at a level equal to or higher than that of fruits and vegetables
 
Research shows that whole grains such as spelled contain many powerful phytonutrients whose activity has been recognized now although research methods have forgotten them. Despite the fact that over the years researchers have measured the antioxidant power of a wide variety of phytonutrients only some  "free" form of these substances are usually measured which dissolve readily and are readily absorbed by the bloodstream. They did not look at "threshold" forms which are connected to the walls of plant cells and must be liberated by intestinal bacteria during digestion before they can be absorbed.
 
Cardiovascular Protection
 
A kind of phyto nutrient especially abundant in whole grains are plant lignans, which are converted by friendly flora in our intestines into mammalian lignans including one called enterolactone that protects breast cancer and other hormone-dependent cancers as well as heart disease.
In addition to whole grains, nuts, seeds and fruits are rich sources of plant lignans and vegetables, fruits and beverages such as coffee, tea and wine. When blood levels of enterolactone were evaluated in over 800 postmenopausal women in a study women who eat grain showed significantly higher levels of this lignan blood. Women who ate  cabbage and leafy vegetables also were shown to have higher levels of enterolactone.

Spelled salad recipe

Source: Ernest Schneider MD in "Health for food."

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