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What Is Ezekiel Bread, and Is It Healthy?

Bread usually gets a bad rap, but Food for Life's Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted loaf is here to undo that.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino
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We get it—cutting bread out of your diet is just not an option, and with Food For Life's Ezekiel 4:9 bread, you really don't have to. It's got the best of both worlds: it's tasty and nutritious, which means you can get your sandwich fix without the guilt.

One slice of Ezekiel bread is only 80 calories and is loaded with micronutrients and macronutrients that'll keep you satiated and can help you lose weight or stay healthy. Plus, its ingredient list is totally pronounceable because it contains wholesome, good-for-you ingredients.

"Ezekiel is a type of sprouted bread, which means nutrients are more available for your body to absorb," says Megan Hilbert, MS, RDN, a dietitian specializing in gut health. "It contains more protein and more fiber and is also lower in carbs compared to regular bread. It is also easier to digest, which is why I recommend it," Hilbert says.

When selecting bread, look for "high protein, high fiber, and low to no added sugar content," says Sarah Keathley, MS, RD, LD, a dietitian with Top Nutrition Coaching. Ezekiel bread fits the bill, plus more.

Here, dietitians explain what makes Ezekiel bread healthy and why it deserves a spot in your freezer.

 The 10 Healthiest Store-Bought Breads

Ezekiel 4:9 Bread Nutrition Facts

Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Bread

One slice of Ezekiel bread is slightly smaller than your average slice of bread, weighing 34 grams a slice. One slice of Ezekiel 4:9 bread contains:

Calories: 80
Fat: 0.5 g (Saturated fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 75 mg
Carbs: 15 grams (Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 0 g)
Protein: 4 g

For comparison, a 43-gram slice of Pepperidge Farm's Whole-Grain Bread provides the same amount of fiber but contains three times the amount of fat, 4 grams of sugar, and 40 more calories.

 9 Best Whole Grain Breads on Grocery Shelves, According to Dietitians

What ingredients are in Ezekiel bread?

Ezekiel is made with good-for-you ingredients: organic sprouted wheat, filtered water, organic sprouted barley, organic sprouted millet, organic malted barley, organic sprouted lentils, organic sprouted soybeans, organic sprouted spelt, yeast, organic wheat gluten, and sea salt.

Let's break down the ingredient list:

  • Organic sprouted wheat: Wheat is brimming with nutrients, including protein, B vitamins, fiber, and phytochemicals.
  • Organic sprouted barley (and organic malted barley): Barley is a great source of important nutrients, including fiber, thiamine, phosphorus, magnesium, niacin, manganese, and selenium. "It's filled with insoluble fiber as well, which is essential for digestive health. The beta-glucans found in barley have been shown to help reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels," Hilbert says.
  • Organic sprouted millet: Millet is a great source of protein, fiber, healthy carbs, and nutrients like folate, vitamin A, phosphorus, potassium, niacin, iron, and antioxidants, Hilbert says.
  • Organic sprouted spelt: "Spelt contains lots of B vitamins like niacin, folate, and other nutrients like magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc," Hilbert says.

In addition to its list of hearty whole grains, Ezekiel bread also packs in two types of legumes:

  • Organic sprouted lentils: "Lentils are full of protein and are a fantastic source of insoluble fiber, which has been proven to reduce cholesterol as well as improve unpleasant digestive symptoms like constipation and diarrhea," Hilbert says. Lentils are also a great source of niacin, vitamin B6, folate, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.
  • Organic sprouted soybeans: Soybeans are an excellent source of protein and have a similar amino acid profile to animal proteins, which can be especially helpful for vegans or vegetarians to meet their protein needs, Hilbert says. Soybeans are also fiber-rich, which can help improve heart and digestive health.

 10 Healthiest Sprouted Breads on Grocery Shelves

The Benefits of Ezekiel Bread

whole wheat bread slices

It's Made With Sprouted Grains.

All of the grains and legumes found in Ezekiel bread are sprouted. "Sprouting is an action that breaks down the grains and releases enzymes that help break down the cell walls of the grain," Hilbert says. This process "allows for maximum vitamin and mineral absorption for certain nutrients, such as folate, vitamin C, zinc, iron, magnesium, and protein."

So, while traditional whole-grain bread is still very nutritious, it's not "partially broken down" in the way that Ezekiel bread is—and that means your body may not absorb as many nutrients from it.

The nutrients in sprouted grains are more bioavailable, but sprouted-grain bread may also contain a wider variety of nutrients than regular bread. While grains are typically low in vitamin C, the sprouting process may increase grains' vitamin C content, according to a study in Food Science & Nutrition.

 Is Whole Wheat Bread Good for You? 8 Effects of Eating It

It's Free of Added Sugars.

On average, store-bought breads contain added sugars disguised by titles like high-fructose corn syrup, date syrup, and honey, contributing upwards of 3 grams of sugar per slice. All that sugar can add up, especially if you eat more than one slice. But Ezekiel 4:9 bread is free of added sugar.

"Ezekiel bread contains no sugar, which helps sustain healthy blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes along with unwanted excess weight gain," Hilbert says.

It's important to note that eating everything in moderation is OK, including added sugar, but the key here is balance, Keathley says. "Since consuming too much added sugar can increase your risks for diseases like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, you'll want to prioritize where you are going to get your added sugar from daily."

It's High in Fiber.

The fiber in Ezekiel bread comes from all the added grains and legumes, and fiber is one of the most important nutrients we're not getting enough of. One slice of Ezekiel bread serves up 3 grams of fiber, which is about 11% of your daily value for the nutrient. Stack a sandwich (with two slices) for lunch, and you'll get nearly a quarter of your daily recommended amount of fiber.

"Fiber helps improve digestive regularity, it feeds healthy bacteria in the microbiome improving gut health, and it can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues like high cholesterol and heart disease," Hilbert says.

 10 Best High-Fiber Foods for Weight Loss

It's High in Protein.

The 5 grams of protein in each slice of Ezekiel bread come from all the grains and legumes, but soybeans and lentils contribute the most protein to this loaf.

"Protein is the building block of all our cells and is important for blood sugar control, satiety after meals, and muscle mass synthesis, which can help sustain lean muscles and improve our metabolic rate," Hilbert says.

What's more, the different sprouted grains and legumes combine to serve up a complete amino acid profile, with all nine essential amino acids helping build and repair muscle tissue.

 15 Best High-Protein, High-Fiber Snacks You Can Buy

It's a Source of Vitamins and Minerals.

Ezekiel bread is a great source of zinc, vitamin B6, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron, and more. Additionally, sprouting grains erodes their anti-nutrients, starches, and gluten. Translation: Your body digests this bread more easily, which allows you to absorb more nutrients. According to the American Journal of Plant Nutrition and Fertilization Technology, sprouting the grains and legumes ups their vitamin synthesis by six to 10 times—especially vitamins B2 (riboflavin), B5, and B6, as well as activating vitamin C production.

 Is Sourdough Actually Healthier Than Regular Bread?

It's Organic.

Ezekiel 4:9 is made with 100% organic grains and legumes, a label that ensures no GMOs or synthetic pesticides are used. According to the FDA, most of America's soy products are genetically modified, so it's especially important to choose organic soy (like the soybeans found in Ezekiel) if you're concerned about pesticides in food.

It's Vegan-Friendly.

A loaf of Ezekiel bread doesn't contain a trace of eggs, butter, or milk. Plus, it provides many nutrients vegans may be deficient in, such as iron (4% DV) and protein (8% DV).

There Are No Additives or Preservatives.

Nope, no artificial sweeteners, dyes, preservatives, or shortenings. Rest assured that Food For Life harnesses the natural powers of the mighty grains and legumes in their purest, most natural form—which we're totally on board with!


Is Ezekiel bread gluten-free?

No, Ezekiel bread is not gluten-free. The ingredient list includes wheat gluten and sprouted organic wheat, which naturally contains gluten, so it isn't suitable for people with celiac disease.

You may have heard that people who are gluten-sensitive (but not gluten intolerant, as is the case with celiac disease) don't experience the same digestive issues with sprouted bread that they have with other loaves of bread. That's likely because the sprouting process activates enzymes that help break down gluten, per the Food Science & Nutrition study.

Still, people with celiac disease or a wheat allergy should avoid gluten products, including Ezekiel bread.

Why do you find Ezekiel bread in the freezer aisle?

Most stores keep preservative-free Ezekiel loaves in freezers to prevent molding and retain that bakery-made taste. That's because the bread does not contain preservatives. Without artificial preservatives, Ezekiel bread will go through the natural process that happens to all real food: spoiling! Freezing delays that process.

Where should you store your loaf of sprouted bread?

Although some stores sell Ezekiel bread at room temperature, the best place to store sprouted bread is in the freezer.

According to Food For Life, your loaf of bread's shelf life depends on storage:

  • Fresh loaf: five days
  • Refrigerated loaf: two weeks
  • Frozen loaf: up to a year

Freezing the whole loaf and toasting a slice whenever you want will ensure your bread's taste is always up to par. So, if you can't find the sprouted loaf in the grocery store's bread aisle, hit the freezer section.

Can diabetics eat Ezekiel bread?

Ezekiel bread lands among the best foods for diabetics because it's low-glycemic. The glycemic index is a scale that estimates how different types of carbohydrates affect your blood sugar, and Ezekiel bread has a score of 36, while traditional white bread has a score of 100, Keathley says. "Ezekiel bread is an excellent choice for those who are looking to stabilize their blood sugar at meals when paired with a balanced plate," she says.

How did the sprouted bread get its name?

If you were wondering why the bread's name seems formatted like a Bible verse, it's because it is one! According to the New International Version, Ezekiel 4:9 states, "Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself."

This story has been updated to include additional entries, fact-checking, and copy-editing.

April Benshosan, MS
April is a born-and-raised Brooklynite who has a passion for all things health, wellness, and tastebud-related. Read more about April
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