7 Best Benefits of Kamut (Khorasan Wheat)

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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 [1] 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.

Kamut grains in a big wooden bowl and some flour around

Kamut has a sweet buttery taste. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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.

Nutrition Facts

Wheat, KAMUT khorasan, cooked
Serving Size :
Water [g]65.18
Energy 132
Energy [kJ]552
Protein [g]5.71
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.83
Ash [g]0.67
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]27.6
Fiber, total dietary [g]4.3
Sugars, total including NLEA [g]3.07
Calcium, Ca [mg]9
Iron, Fe [mg]1.76
Magnesium, Mg [mg]48
Phosphorus, P [mg]147
Potassium, K [mg]164
Sodium, Na [mg]8
Zinc, Zn [mg]1.84
Copper, Cu [mg]0.21
Manganese, Mn [mg]1.03
Selenium, Se [µg]31.9
Thiamin [mg]0.1
Riboflavin [mg]0.03
Niacin [mg]2.31
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.07
Folate, total [µg]11
Folate, food [µg]11
Folate, DFE [µg]11
Vitamin A, IU [IU]4
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.24
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.08
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.08
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.24
Fatty acids, total trans [g]0
Tryptophan [g]0.05
Threonine [g]0.17
Isoleucine [g]0.22
Leucine [g]0.43
Lysine [g]0.16
Methionine [g]0.1
Cystine [g]0.12
Phenylalanine [g]0.3
Tyrosine [g]0.14
Valine [g]0.27
Arginine [g]0.27
Histidine [g]0.15
Alanine [g]0.21
Aspartic acid [g]0.31
Glutamic acid [g]1.88
Glycine [g]0.23
Proline [g]0.62
Serine [g]0.3
Sources include : USDA [2]

Nutrition Facts 

One of the main reasons for Kamut’s recent increase in popularity is the dense nutrients it can provide into a regular diet. [3]

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 can 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. [4]
  • 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. [5]
  • 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. [6]
  • 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 can 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. [7]
  • 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 bread, cereals, pasta 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 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 severe gluten intolerance as this does contain gluten.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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