7 Best Benefits of Kamut

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Kamut is an ancient grain that functions as a healthy alternative to modern wheat and can feature in a wide range of recipes.

What is Kamut?

Pronounced ‘Kah-moot’, kamut is an ancient type of wheat grain, also known as Oriental wheat or Khorasan wheat. Khorasan was once a large region in what is now Iran, Afghanistan and other parts of central Asia, and it is believed that this grain was first cultivated there. Kamut reached the USA in 1949 but did not generate interest at that time. However, 28 years later, two Montana farmers called Bob and Mack Quinn decided to begin a cultivation experiment. As the discussion around the side effects and health properties of modern wheat has grown in recent years, so has the popularity of this ancient whole grain.

This grain is an annual growing grass that produces grains similar in appearance but twice the size of modern wheat kernels. Kamut kernels have a nutty, buttery and rich flavor. They are richer in healthy fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals than standard wheat. Intensive farming, genetic engineering and industrial revolutions over the past two centuries have made modern flour easy and cheap to produce.

However, the end product lacks the nutritional value that can be found in older grain forms, such as kamut. Furthermore, the developments in wheat production in recent years are thought to be responsible for the rise in gluten intolerance. Although still a specialist grain found primarily in health food stores, the interest in this ancient is only increasing.

Nutritional Value of Kamut

One of the main reasons for kamut’s recent increase in popularity is the dense nutrients it can provide into a regular diet.

Water 65.18g
Energy 132kcal
Protein 5.71g
Total Lipid (fats) 0.83g
Carbohydrate, by difference 27.6g
Dietry Fiber 4.3g
Sugars 3.07g
Calcium 9mg
Iron 1.76mg
Magnesium 48mg
Phosphorus 147mg
Potassium 164mg
Sodium 8mg
Zinc 1.84mg
Thiamin 0.095mg
Riboflavin 0.03mg
Niacin 2.305mg
Vitamin B-6 0.07mg
Folate 11 µg
Vitamin A 4IU
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.24mg
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.077g
Monounsaturated 0.084g
Polyunsaturated 0.243g
Trans 0.002g

Kamut Benefits

  • Maintains Tissue Strength: As an excellent source of whole fiber, kamut can help maintain strength in your tissues. Fiber is also critical for transporting oxygen around the body and is able to support the functioning of the immune system. One cup of this grain supplies 28% of the daily fiber advised for women, as well as 19% of men’s daily recommended intake.
  • Lowers Cholesterol: As an excellent source of protein, kamut can help keep your cholesterol low and the body’s energy levels high in a more effective way than consuming simple carbohydrates.
  • Protects Against Free Radicals: Kamut contains antioxidant minerals, such as manganese and selenium, which help to protect the body against free radicals that can cause cellular damage and genetic mutations.
  • Supports Hormone Balance: Selenium and manganese are also key players in the body’s production of hormones; Selenium helps produce thyroid hormones and manganese is crucial in the processing of sex hormones.
  • Boosts Immune System: Kamut is a good source of zinc, which boosts the immune system and helps to maintain thyroid health. By aiding in the production of white blood cells, this grain is able to improve the reaction time for the body to seek out and neutralize infections or foreign substances. According to a study published by the Cambridge University Press and conducted by Lothar Rink, zinc is a cofactor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions, many of which affect the immune system.
  • Aids Bone Health: One cup of kamut provides approximately 80mg of magnesium, a mineral that is essential for maintaining strong bones and preventing the early onset of osteoporosis.

How to Store Kamut

Kamut is best stored in a sealed container in a cool, dark location. You can keep kamut fresh for longer by storing it in the fridge. However, be aware that the grain is absorptive and may soak up excess moisture or smells unless it is sealed in a fully airtight container. 

How to Eat Kamut

Kamut can be used in many different forms – as a whole grain, in couscous form or as a flour. It is often found pre-added to breads, cereals, pastas and baked goods. However, it is also possible to use this grain at home to make a wide range of recipes. It is worth noting that these whole grains can be rinsed and soaked overnight before cooking. 

  • Pancakes: Prime Kamut cultivator, Bob Quinn, enjoys sourdough pancakes made with this grain for his breakfast. Pancakes made with this flour are rich and flavorful, and more nutritious than regular pancakes.
  • Salads: You can use boiled kamut as an excellent base for salad dishes. Try pairing it with strong citrus flavors, steamed greens and toasted nuts.
  • Porridge: Blended soaked grains can make a delicious, creamy porridge.
  • Bread: Go easy on your gut by using kamut flour to make a wholesome homemade bread.
  • Pasta: This grain can be an interesting addition to a pasta sauce, adding texture, nutrition and a nutty flavor.
  • Soups and Stews: Bulk up your winter hotpots with whole grains. They will add protein and a chewy texture to any stew or soup.

Caution: Although some people with gluten intolerances have found this grain to be a more digestible alternative to regular wheat, it is not suitable for those suffering from Celiac disease, as it is a form of wheat and does contain gluten.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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