In this study, samples of 18 ancient wheat (12 emmer, 6 einkorn) and 2 bread wheat varieties grown in different regions of Turkey were examined for their total phenolics and flavonoids, phenolic acids, lutein, total yellow pigment, and total radical scavenging capacities against ABTS cation. Results showed that health beneficial phytochemicals and total antioxidant capacities were generally significantly different in emmer and einkorn wheat groups. Remarkably higher total antioxidant activity (18.31 +/- 1.31 mu mol Trolox equiv/g), total phenolics (6.33 +/- 0.98 mu mol gallic acid equiv/g), ferulic acid (662.95 +/- 61.07 mu g/g), and flavonoids (1.61 +/- 0.34 mu mol catechin equiv/g) content were detected in emmer wheat samples (n = 12), suggesting that they may have high potential for utilization as a novel grain, rich in natural antioxidants. In addition, quite high levels of lutein (7.33 +/- 2.43 mu g/g) of einkorn samples (n = 6) hold the potential of developing high-lutein bakery products to considerably raise the dietary intake of carotenoids. These findings for ancient wheat varieties are considered to be very useful in breeding programs for selecting and breeding wheat varieties for higher concentration and better composition of health-beneficial phytochemicals.