Emmer, also known as Farro Medio, has a few great qualities that make it a desirable grain for human consumption:
Emmer is high in fiber. One half cup contains 26-40% of the fiber we need in a day. As you probably know, we need fiber in our diet, and most people aren’t even close to meeting the recommendations. Fiber helps lower cholesterol, prevents constipation, normalizes blood glucose and insulin, and can reduce the risk for some kinds of cancer.
Although probably still not recommended for people with Celiac Disease, Emmer generally has lower amounts of gluten than regular wheat and may be better for those with gluten intolerances or other allergies associated with wheat (Sidenote: This lower level of gluten makes for denser bread).
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and Minerals. They always go together, and most people know they’re important. But sometimes we aren’t focused enough on the vital role that they really play in our health.
Emmer is an excellent source of niacin and pantothenic acid which are both important for metabolism. Niacin also plays and important role in our skin, digestive systems, and and nervous systems.
As far as minerals go, emmer is an excellent source of magnesium and a good source of the antioxidant, selenium. It’s easier to find a body process that magnesium doesn’t have a hand in. It’s important for bones, protein creation, immune system function, muscle contraction, and the nervous system. And just a half a cup of emmer contains 29% of the daily value for magnesium.
Emmer has a low glycemic index. That’s a good thing. Regulating blood sugar is an ongoing process of our bodies. A food that has a low glycemic index is better because it releases the glucose more slowly and steadily. This helps keep our blood glucose and insulin levels under control. A diet low on the glycemic index can prevent many long-term health issues. A study published in 2014 tested a few ancient grains’ effect on animals and compared them to the effect of modern wheat. They found that emmer, spelt, einkorn, and rye specifically may delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.