Spelt: Nutrition, health benefits, and how to use it

People in Europe have grown spelt grain for over 300 years, but it did not reach the United States until the 1890s.

People can use spelt flour in place of wheat flour in most recipes. It gives baked goods a nuttier flavor than wheat can. Prepackaged products made from spelt, such as pasta and crackers, are also popular.

In this article, we look at the possible health benefits of spelt. We also suggest some ways that individuals can add more spelt to their diets.


One cup of cooked spelt contains:

  • calories: 246
  • protein: 10.67 g
  • total fats: 1.65 g
  • carbohydrates: 51.29 g
  • fiber: 7.6 g
  • calcium: 19 mg
  • iron: 3.24 mg
  • magnesium: 95 mg
  • phosphorus: 291 mg
  • potassium: 277 mg
  • sodium: 10 mg
  • zinc: 2.42 mg
  • thiamin: 0.2 mg
  • riboflavin: 0.06 mg
  • niacin: 5 mg
  • vitamin B-6: 0.16 mg
  • folate: 25 mcg
  • vitamin A: 8 iu
  • vitamin E: 0.50 mg

Spelt is an excellent source of carbohydrates and dietary fiber. It is particularly rich in iron, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, and niacin (vitamin B-3).

Compared with wheat, spelt contains:

  • a slightly higher protein content (15.6 percent in spelt vs. 14.9 percent in wheat)
  • a slightly higher fat content (2.5 percent vs. 2.1 percent)
  • less insoluble fiber (9.3 percent vs. 11.2 percent)
  • less total fiber (10.9 percent vs. 14.9 percent)

There are no significant differences in the levels of sugar or soluble fiber between spelt and wheat.

People can use spelt flour or whole spelt grains.

Use the flour:

  • to bake spelt bread or cookies
  • as a substitute for half the wheat flour content in bread recipes
  • to thicken sauces and gravy

Eat whole spelt grains:

  • as a side dish
  • as a breakfast cereal
  • in risottos
  • in stews

People should always rinse the grains well before cooking them.


Spelt, with its mild, nutty flavor, is a popular alternative to wheat. It also provides several essential nutrients, such as iron, magnesium, and zinc.

Consuming spelt and other whole grains may improve heart health, aid digestion, reduce the risk of diabetes, and help people achieve or maintain a healthy weight.

Like wheat, spelt contains gluten. This makes it unsuitable for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

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