Whole Grains: Basic Facts on the Food Items
Many researchers and nutrition columnists focus on fruits, vegetables, polyunsaturated fats, and lean meat while advising people on diet. Unfortunately, they sometimes fail to mention cereals in their analyses despite the fact that this food provides more food energy than any other kind of crop in the world. Because of this lack of information, many people do not know what whole grains are.
Manufacturers often color their bread brown with caramel or molasses thus duping consumers into believing that they are buying a whole grain product. The components used in processing the grain define it. A cereal consists of bran, germ, and endosperm. Whole grain consists of all three components while refined grains only have the endosperm.
The common varieties of whole grains in the world
In their natural form, whole grains include wheat, barley, oat, maize, brown rice, rye, quinoa, teff, buckwheat and amaranth. Manufacturers can process these products and still retain their properties as whole grains. Different countries have laws regulating such practices to prevent unscrupulous businessmen from duping the public into buying products that are not whole grains. For instance, in the US, such products should have the label 'whole' on it. That is why you can see labels such as whole wheat flour, whole white bread or whole wheat pasta in supermarkets and grocery shops. White rice, white bread, pasta, and white flour are all non-wholegrain products.
The benefits you can get from whole grains
These foods lower your chances of developing any cardiovascular disease significantly. They do so by reducing the level of low-density lipoprotein and triglyceride in the human body. This reduction lowers the risk factors associated with heart disease by 26%.
Eating whole grains also reduces your chances of developing diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. Refined grains have the opposite effect on your body.
Whole grains are also important when it comes to acquiring critical minerals for the body. For example, they are a good source of iron, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium for the body. They also have copper, manganese, and selenium. Whole grains are rich in vitamins one of which is vitamin B that improves the body's metabolism.
It is also important to note that whole grains are an important source of fiber, which is critical for the human digestive system. Fiber makes you feel satisfied so you will hardly overeat when you consume foods rich in it. Fiber also prevents constipation.
Finally, whole grains are a good source of protein. Since the human body is incapable of storing protein, it is important to eat this kind of food regularly as it will maintain the optimal levels of protein in your body.