A Nutritional Look At Our New “Ancient Grain” Breads

Udi’s new Omega Flax & Fiber and Millet-Chia breads not only provide great taste and texture – their ‘ancient’’ and wholesome ingredients provide the solid nutritional foundation needed for our current busy lifestyles.  Read on to discover some of the natural health benefits of these ancient ingredients offer.   .

Udi's Millet Chia BreadMillet
Millet seed is an ancient grain first cultivated in China around 4500BC.  It is high in protein, fiber, magnesium, and phosphorus, all of which are important for certain functions in our bodies. Here are some quick facts about this seed:

  • Millet contains 1.5 times more protein than brown rice and offers a higher quality protein source, because it contains a higher proportion of essential amino acids
  • One cup of millet provides 12% of the recommended daily value (DV) of protein, 20% DV of magnesium and approx 6% DV of zinc
    • Magnesium is important for muscle and nerve functioning, bone strength, and the regulation of blood pressure and blood glucose levels, thereby reducing the incidences of type 2 diabetes
    • Zinc plays a key role in wound healing and proper immune function1
    • It may play a role in preventing cardiovascular disease 2
    • It has been found to have a high antioxidant capacity, which protects against harmful effects of free radicals linked to cell damage5,6

An ancient grain stemming back to Mayan and Aztec cultures around 3500 BC, the teeny chia seed’s name literally means “strength.” This name is fitting, given its concentrated nutritional content.  Chia seeds have a mild, nutty flavor and can be added to a variety of foods to boost nutritional content, such as hot cereal, vegetables, sauces, and baked goods (such as breads and cookies). Here are some key facts about chia:

  • Unlike flax seeds, chia seeds can be absorbed easily by the body in their original, whole form
  • They provide a source of omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.7
  • They contain 3 times more calcium than milk, more Omega-3 fatty acid levels than wild salmon, and 42% of the recommended daily value of fiber per ounce serving.8
    • Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber have been linked to lower rates of heart disease, cancer, inflammation, nervous system disorders, and cholesterol levels.9

Inulin is an indigestible, starchy substance naturally found in a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs.10,11  It has similar properties to fiber in that it resists digestion in the GI tract and therefore, does not behave like a typical carbohydrate. Here are key things to know about inulin:

  • It passes through the upper GI tract undigested until it reaches the colon, where it is fermented by bacteria
  • Typical carbohydrates have a caloric value of 3.9 kcals/g, while inulin has a value of approx 1.5 kcals/g10
  • Inulin is also considered a ‘prebiotic,’ meaning it simulates the growth of good bacteria in the colon that helps with digestion12
  • Evidence suggests it lowers triglyceride levels and aids with constipation and other immune-related diseases10,11,13

Rice Bran
Rice, in its crude form, has a naturally occurring hard outer layer called bran that is often removed during processing. This bran provides substantial nutritional benefits. Below are key facts about rice bran:

  • One ounce of rice bran contains 4 grams of protein, 4 grams of heart healthy unsaturated fats, and 6 grams of fiber14,15
  • A single ounce of rice bran provides more than 50% DV of thiamine, niacin, and vitamin B6
  • It is an excellent source of magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and iron14
  • Fiber found in rice bran plays a role in weight management and reducing blood cholesterol levels, thereby lowering incidences of heart disease16

Teff is a tiny, versatile ancient grain believed to have originated in Ethopia between 4000 and 1000BC. It is a common dietary staple in the Ethiopian diet as part of enjera – a porous, pancake-like bread.  When cooked, it’s gelatinous texture and mild sweetness makes it a good replacement to wheat flour and acts as a thickener and additive to baked goods and soups.17,18  Here are some of Teff’s key benefits:

  • Teff provides an excellent source of essential amino acids and is high in calcium, iron, thiamine, and potassium
  • It can play a beneficial role in the prevention of anemia, osteoporosis, diabetes, and obesity19

Flax Seed
Stemming from Babylon as early as 3000BC, flax seed has a nutty taste and can be easily sprinkled on top of cereal or yogurt, or incorporated into baked dishes such as breads, crackers, and casseroles. As whole flax seed can pass through the intestinal tract undigested, it is best to grind flax seed prior to adding to foods to maximize the amount healthful benefits absorbed.20 Below are some benefits of consuming flax seed:

  • Udi's Gluten Free BreadsFlax seed has been linked to reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes
  • It contains omega-3 fatty acid, soluble and insoluble fiber, and high lignan content
    • Lignans may play a role in cancer prevention by blocking enzymes involved in hormone metabolism and interfering with the proliferation of cancer cells
    • The lignans in flaxseed have been shown to provide a 75% reduction in arterial plaque build-up and can improve blood glucose levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes
    • Recent research also demonstrates a possible link between the omega-3 and amino acid content in flax seed and lowered blood pressure and incidences of arrhythmia 20


It is hard to deny the numerous health benefits associated with the wholesome ingredients and ancient grains found in Udi’s Omega Flax & Fiber and Millet Chia Breads.  Take a bite and let us know what you think!


1 http://www.livestrong.com/article/479813-what-are-the-benefits-of-millet-seed/#ixzz1nWH5VuB5
Gibson GR, Roberfroid MB. Dietary modulation of the human colonic microbiota: introducing the concept of prebiotics. J Nutr1995;125:1401–12.
Macfarlane GT, Steed H, Macfarlane S. Bacterial metabolism and health-related effects of galacto-oligosaccharides and other prebiotics. J Appl Microbiol. 2008 Feb;104(2):305-44.

3 responses to “A Nutritional Look At Our New “Ancient Grain” Breads”

  1. Brenda Duncan says:

    Where o where, can one buy this millet-chia bread? I’ve looked for it ever since you first mentioned it a few months ago but none of my usual haunts (Vitamin Cottage, Sunflower Market, etc) seem to stock it ?

  2. Mary Eileen McAtee says:

    Does this beautiful bread you are talking about have yeast in it?

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