The greatest thing since sliced bread?
That may be how some people perceive Ezekiel bread, a whole wheat bread made from sprouted grains. It’s low in calories, full of fiber and protein, and has tons of other health benefits.
It is called the holy grail of bread, making it a smarter choice compared to traditional white bread.
But does Ezekiel’s Bread really live up to all the hype? Why is Ezekiel’s bread healthy?
Registered Dietitian Kayla Kopp, RD, LD, explains why Ezekiel bread is healthy, how to use it, and how to store it.
What is Ezekiel’s Bread?
Ezekiel bread is whole wheat bread. But unlike other whole grain bread options, Ezekiel bread is made from sprouted whole grains and legumes such as wheat, millet, barley, spelt, soybeans and lentils.
When these whole grains and legumes are sprouted, the process changes their nutrient composition and reduces the amount of antinutrients. Antinutrients what?
“Annutrients can potentially be a bad thing because they can prevent the absorption of certain vitamins by the human body. But sprouted grains contain less antinutrients,” explains Kopp. “Therefore, Ezekiel bread tends to contain more nutrients that are easily absorbed by our bodies.”
For example, raw soybeans are toxic. But once soybeans are prepared—soaked, sprouted, or cooked—they are edible.
Another thing you need to know before biting into a slice of Ezekiel bread? The taste of Ezekiel bread can take some getting used to.
“Ezekiel bread is a little spongy because it has sprouted grains,” explains Kopp. “If you’re someone who naturally eats white bread, it’s an acquired taste. The slice has a little bit of oats and seeds around the edges, which can make it a bit crunchier than white bread.’
You can also find Ezekiel bread in flavors like Cinnamon Raisin, Flax Sprout, Sesame Sprout, and there’s also a low sodium option.
Is Ezekiel bread healthy?
Yes, Ezekiel bread is a healthier option than traditional white bread. Ezekiel bread made from sprouted grains is low in calories and full of fiber and protein, which can help lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation. So eating Ezekiel bread brings a lot of positives. Let’s learn more about the benefits of Ezekiel bread.
It is a good source of protein
When it comes to the nutrition of Ezekiel bread, there is much to rejoice about. For example, you’ll typically find about 5 grams of protein per slice of Ezekiel bread.
“Protein comes mostly from soybeans and lentils. Whole grains also have some protein,” says Kopp. “But 5 grams of protein on a piece of bread is pretty good. It’s also low in carbs, about 15 grams, because it’s a thinner, smaller slice. It is a good choice for people with diabetes.”
It is a good source of fiber
Traditional white bread contains no fiber. But another benefit of Ezekiel bread is that you usually get about 3 grams of fiber per slice. It is recommended to consume 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day.
“Fiber is an indigestible resource. It helps keep you full because it bulks up your stool and then passes through your intestines. It doesn’t necessarily get absorbed and digested, which in turn helps keep you full,” says Kopp.
It is a good source of vitamins and minerals
Ezekiel bread contains vitamins and minerals such as zinc, calcium, magnesium and iron. And Ezekiel bread is pretty low in sodium — there are even sodium-free options — which Kopp says can be good for someone with chronic kidney disease or high blood pressure and must watch their salt intake.
Another thing that Ezekiel bread has? Contains all nine essentials amino acids.
“If you’re someone who doesn’t eat a lot of meat, it’s a little more difficult to get the amino acids we need,” notes Kopp.
It is low calorie
If you’re someone who counts calories, you’ll be happy to know that one slice of Ezekiel bread has about 80 calories.
“The nice thing about it is that you could have like two slices in a meal—and that would be totally fine because it’s pretty low-calorie,” says Kopp.
Another benefit? Ezekiel bread is not made with added sugar like most other types of bread.
It is easily digestible
Part of what makes Ezekiel bread a good choice is that the sprouted grains make it easier to digest. It can improve your overall digestibility because sprouting starts the process of breaking down starch into sugar.
“Grains and legumes partially break down during the germination process,” explains Kopp. “So basically your gut has less work to do.”
It can help lower cholesterol
We already mentioned that Ezekiel bread can help your digestion due to its fiber content. But if you’re watching your cholesterol, Ezekiel bread can be a great tool to have on hand.
“Fiber binds to cholesterol in your body and helps eliminate cholesterol you don’t need,” says Kopp. “Also, there are no unhealthy fats in the bread, which in turn do not contribute to raising your cholesterol.”
It can help with inflammation
Traditional white bread is considered a processed food, meaning it has been stripped of all nutrients. But with Ezekiel bread and its whole grain, you may find that it reduces inflammation in your body.
“If you don’t have a gluten allergy, any type of whole grain product is good at reducing inflammation,” says Kopp. “That’s because it has a lot of available vitamins and nutrients.”
It can help balance blood sugar
Back to fiber and all the great things it can do for your body…
“If you have diabetes, you want to choose foods that contain whole grains and have more fiber because that will help slow down spikes in blood sugar,” says Kopp.
Remember: White bread has no fiber and is more likely to cause a spike in blood sugar.
Will it help you lose weight?
“If you include Ezekiel bread in your diet, you won’t magically lose weight just because of the ingredients,” says Kopp. “But Ezekiel bread is a really good way to help keep you full because of the fiber and protein content.”
How to use Ezekiel bread
You can use Ezekiel bread just like any other type of bread. Make a sandwich or top it with hummus and some raw veggies. Kopp suggests pairing Ezekiel bread with a protein or healthy fat source like avocado or eggs for a balanced breakfast.
“It can also be used as a pre-workout snack. Slice it with peanut butter and a banana,” she adds.
One caveat when using Ezekiel bread? You need to think about how you store it.
“If you’re someone who doesn’t go through bread quickly, I recommend freezing it and then you can just toast it right out of the freezer,” says Kopp.
If you reach for bread often, it may be best to keep it in the fridge.
“That would still increase the shelf life instead of keeping it on the counter,” he continues. “But if you have a larger family, it’s okay to leave it on the counter for three to five days as well.”
Even a sealed paper bag or bread box can help extend the shelf life of Ezekiel bread.
“These methods prevent a lot of oxygen from getting into it.” Ezekiel bread has no preservatives to keep it fresh,” Kopp recalls.
And you may have to adjust your budget slightly when buying Ezekiel bread, as it tends to be more expensive than white bread.
If you are looking for ways to cut out processed foods like white bread and are looking for a healthier alternative, Ezekiel bread may be worth a try.
“It’s the least processed bread I’ve ever seen—no added sugars or preservatives,” echoes Kopp. “It has a lot of good nutrients.