Whole Grains Are Good For You

Here's an overview of a whole grain and how they are important for good health.

A grain is the seed of a plant and a whole grain includes parts known as the germ, endosperm, and bran.

The germ is the part of the grain from which a new plant sprouts, it is the heart of the kernel. It includes some protein, polyunsaturated fat, fiber, and plenty of vitamins and minerals that are good for your body.

The endosperm makes up the majority of the grain kernel. It has small amounts of vitamins and minerals and includes most of the grain's protein.

The bran is the hard outer layer of the seed and is a rich source of dietary fiber. It also includes some starch, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals.

Whole Grains Versus Refined

Whole grains have all of these parts still intact. While refined grains have both the bran and the wheat germ removed, leaving only the least nutritious part, the endosperm.

Refined grains (like white flours and white rice) provide poor nutrition, leaving the body still hungry for good nutrition. Although, some of the "vitamins" and "minerals" are added back in after the milling process, nothing artificial can fill in what was once there naturally. Refined grains are absorbed too quickly into the blood stream causing upsets in blood sugar levels which exhausts the pancreas and/or the adrenal glands. Also, since the bran is removed during the refining process there is no longer much fiber in the grain either. Our body needs fiber in order to help clean out our intestines, so when refined grains are eaten they act more like glue to your intestines which can cause various health problems.

Whole grains on the other hand, are much different than their refined versions. They are high in fiber, antioxidants, plant protein, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, many other healthful substances, and they have no cholesterol and are low in fat. They give many of the nutrients that are low in the modern day diet such as fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E, etc. Whole grains have also been shown to reduce the risk of bowel disorders, obesity, heart disease and high cholesterol, stroke, high blood pressure, many types of cancer and they may also help regulate blood glucose in people who have diabetes.

The choice seems obvious to me. Whole grains have many health benefits while refined grains do not. One is helpful to your body, while the other is detrimental to it. The bottom line is we all should be eating more whole grains to live longer healthier lives.

Go to our whole grains blog to learn more!

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