Is eating Bread Crust really good for you?

Updated at: Oct 19, 2011
Is eating Bread Crust really good for you?

Antioxidants and dietary fibre in bread crusts fight cancer.

Vatsal Anand
LatestWritten by: Vatsal AnandPublished at: Aug 11, 2011

Eating breadIf you are one of those who enjoy having the bread after taking its crust off, change the habit immediately. You do not realise that by removing the bread crust, you do away with dietary fibre and antioxidants that are needed in your body. These nutrients are essential for combating cancerous growth. Antioxidants combat the harmful effect of free radicals that damage the blood cells and lead to cancerous growth. Dietary fibre keeps your colon healthy as it helps in digestion.

Scientists have tried to find out the process by which the bread crust promotes good health in a person. The researchers working at the German Research Centre of Food Chemistry in Garching conducted experiments on the sour dough bread mixture. It was discovered that the antioxidant pronyl-lysine was eight times more in the bread crust than other parts of the bread. This antioxidant was not at all present in the flour. This research only showed what the bread crust has but another one looked at the way in which helped in promoting health.

Researchers from the Institute of Human Nutrition and Food Science in the German city Kiel conducted experiments on the human intestinal cells. Pronyl-lysine found in the intestine was studied and it was found that the level of phase 2 enzymes is raised because of it. These enzymes are known to prevent cancer according to previous studies. Research has also shown that you actually need to bake the bread to produce the antioxidants in the bread crust.

When a slice of bread is baked, the carbon of the carbohydrates found in bread reacts with the amino acids of the protein. The browning of the bread surface is a direct result of this reaction. Recent research has credited this process, known as the Maillard reaction, with production of antioxidants in the bread crust. The antioxidant pronyl-lysine is more available in smaller loaves of bread as they make for a bigger share of crust per slice.

Both yeast-based and yeast-free breads have the antioxidant pronyl-lysine but the darker breads such as wheat pumpernickel are better. They have more of the antioxidants and dietary fibre as compared to lighter breads such as white. When baking or toasting your bread, make sure you do not overdo it. This can bring down the level of antioxidants. Too much burning of the bread can actually promote cancer instead of preventing it.


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