There’s nothing like a slice of toasted bread. Really and truly, it is one of life’s joys, particularly with a generous dab of butter. Or, maybe mayonnaise, tomatoes, and a sprinkle of salt. Ok, I’m drooling. I digress. So, where does that leave you if you’ve decided to jump-start your healthy eating habits and incorporate sprouted bread as your starting point? You may, for example, be asking yourself, am I losing any nutrition by toasting my sprouted bread?
The short answer is no. Toasting your sprouted bread does not change its nutritional value. Toasting does cause a chemical reaction, however, it has little to no bearing on the nutritional content of your sprouted toasted bread.
Even so, there are benefits and minor changes that occur when toasting your sprouted bread that you may want to know and understand.
What Happens When Bread is Toasted?
Toast is essentially bread that has been exposed to radiant heat and is browned as a result. The browning of toast is due to a chemical reaction known as the Maillard reaction which causes amino acids and carbohydrates to react, thereby giving toast its unmistakable flavor, color and firmness. If you’re interested in learning more about the Maillard reaction read my article titled “What is the Ideal Oven Temperature for Baking Bread?” which provides more details as to how this chemical reaction works.
Another aspect of toasting is the fact that it is distinctly more dry than a slice of bread, and as mentioned above, this makes it more firm. This firmness allows you to apply a variety of spreads more easily, avoiding ripping or breaking the bread and giving way to a more even spread.
The Health Benefits of Toasting your Sprouted Bread
While the nutritional value of your sprouted bread doesn’t change when you toast it, there are a couple of health benefits that are worth mentioning.
The Glycemic Index (GI) of Toast
Firstly, what is the Glycemic Index (GI)? Well, it assigns a value between 0 to 100 on how much food will impact your blood sugar. The higher the index, the more of an impact that particular food has on your blood sugar.
Toasted bread in general, whether sprouted bread or not, has a lower GI than regular bread – though only marginally. This is because one aspect of the Maillard reaction involves breaking down carbohydrates.
Foods, like sprouted bread (whether toasted or not), that have a lower GI impart a couple of benefits:
- Aiding in weight loss and overall weight maintenance.
- Maintaining balanced sugar levels for those coping with Diabetes or Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).
Since the process of sprouting of the whole grains, legumes, and seeds used in sprouted bread lowers the carbohydrates, it has an exceptionally low GI – scoring less than 55. For reference, according to Harvard Health, white bread scores between 71-75, and whole wheat bread scores more than 65.
Sprouted bread is an excellent choice for anyone watching their sugar levels.
Toasted sprouted bread
Has anyone ever told you, that you lose nutrition in bread when it gets toasted? Well, they’re wrong. Aside from the lower GI, sprouting grains breaks down some of the barriers for your body to absorb as much nutrition from the grains used in the sprouted bread.
On top of that, more often than not, sprouted bread is made with a variety of grains, legumes, and seeds – the sheer variety provides a complete package with all nine amino acids the human body needs to break down food.
When grains are sprouted the nutrients of the grains used are increased by the mere fact of being sprouted. In addition, antinutrients which hinder the absorption of nutrients, are removed making it easier on your body while simultaneously giving your body more to absorb.
Is there a Downside to Toasting your Sprouted Bread?
Toasting bread is great, and overall doesn’t cause any real harm. You will, however, want to avoid burning it. Burning bread can cause acrylamide, a carcinogenic compound, to be produced which can lead to health issues if consumed regularly. This in addition to making it taste pretty bad.
One Last Benefit to Toasting Your Sprouted Bread
Aside from everything mentioned above, there is one thus far unmentioned benefit that we’ve all likely experienced – toasting for the sake of reviving stale bread.
It can be a real bummer when reaching into your bread box (or wherever you happen to store your bread), slicing off a piece of bread to make your breakfast or sandwich only to determine that it’s stale. The easiest, and most likely the best solution, is to toast your sprouted bread.
Never mind that toasting takes fresh bread to a whole new culinary level, toasting stale bread means you’re salvaging and saving your bread rather than being wasteful and tossing the whole shebang out.
The Upshot To Toasting Your Bread
Altogether, toasting your sprouted bread is not only tasty, but it’s also super nutritious. The benefits of including it in your daily diet, whether combating illness or upping your health game, far outweigh not eating it. So, what are you waiting for? Start eating (and definitely toasting) sprouted bread and reap all the perks.