You may have noticed that sourdough bread is everywhere.
Every café worth its cappuccino is serving sourdough with brunch, while even the smallest of grocers is suddenly stocking it on its shelves.
But why is sourdough bread so good for you? What makes it different from any old bread?
What makes a sourdough a sour dough?
Sourdough is a fermented dough, made from the naturally occurring yeast and bacteria in flour. It’s one of many fermented foods enjoying some well-deserved time in the wellness world spotlight.
For the unfamiliar, fermenting is essentially a biological process where the microorganisms in food convert sugars (yep, sugars!) into cellular energy and a metabolic byproduct – lactic acid. And lactic acid is pretty neat stuff.
Your gut is sweet on sourdough.
First off, lactic acid increases the digestibility of foods and promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria (the good bugs actually feed on it!). This gives the whole immune system a boost, considering that around 80 per cent of your immune system is found in your gut.
Lactic acid also increases the micronutrient profile of foods like the wheat in dough. Combine that with the fact that your body is more readily able to use them, and you’ve got yourself a pretty special bread.
Plus, because sourdough tends to have a lengthier prep process than other breads, the gluten gets broken down into amino acids along the way. Which could make sourdough bread more tolerable for people with gluten sensitives.
Sourdough is naturally low in sugar.
While bread is generally pretty low in sugar (no, croissants and brioche do not count as bread), sourdough tops the list for us.
That’s because the fermentation process actually gobbles up any residual sugars. And it’s not just the fructose (the sugar we’re really trying to quit) the little guys gorge on. Research shows sourdough doesn’t tend to cause the same spike in blood glucose levels as other breads can, making it our go-to when we’re craving a cheese toastie.
And It preserves itself!
Sourdough also naturally lasts longer and holds its moisture better than other breads, since the whole fermentation thing kills off bad bacteria and prevents mould growth. This means you’re less likely to come home to an un-toastable block of green 24 hours after a bakery visit.
It’s also a heartening thought when you consider how many preservatives go into most commercial breads these days. Reducing the need for these additives AND reducing the potential waste really makes sourdough the sweetest bread of all.
Did you realise how good sourdough bread is for you?