You don’t have to be a health food nut to know that whole grains are good for you. In fact, as far as food trends and fads go, eating whole grains has been one of the more popular ones, infiltrating all spheres of the food industry as the ‘healthy choice.’ It would be hard to find a product, or an item on the menu in a restaurant or bakery for that matter, that doesn’t have the option of being whole-grain.
What is all the fuss about, though? Besides making the products they are used in an earthier tone of brown, whole grains add a slue of other benefits to the food you love. In this article, we discuss what makes whole grains so much healthier than processed grains.
What It Means To Be ‘Whole’
A lot of what we eat could be considered a grain. From rice to corn to cereal, grains are everywhere in our diets, and all of them are seeds by definition. Seeds contain three components: the bran, the endosperm, and the germ. When not specified as made with ‘whole grains’ most products you eat just use the endosperm of the seed. Any product or grain that uses all three components of the seed is considered to be whole grain.
The benefit of keeping the bran and germ parts of the seed in the final product is that you get all of the nutritional value of the grain included. Most notably, grains contain dietary fiber, B vitamins (such as riboflavin and folate), iron, magnesium, and selenium.
As you may know, dietary fiber is a powerful agent in reducing blood cholesterol levels. This in turn lowers your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. It can also create a feeling of fullness that prevents over-eating and associated weight gain.
There are many different nutrients that fall under the scope of ‘B vitamins’ and whole grains contain a lot of them. Riboflavin, for example, helps the body efficiently metabolize food. Folate, or folic acid, helps form red blood cells.
On the subject of blood, whole grains are also a good source of iron, which helps the blood transport oxygen. Especially in women of childbearing age who are iron-deficient, any extra natural source of iron is more than welcome.
These were just some of the nutrients and benefits of whole grains, begging the question: why wouldn’t you choose whole grains? Not to mention, whole grains have a richer taste than refined grains found in white breads, white rice, and other products.
CATEGORIES: Breakfast, Healthy Foods, Junk Food Alternatives , Vegan, Vegetarian