Why not add whole grain food to your daily meal routines, they are easy to cook and great for a balanced diet and healthy eating.
They come in different shapes like Flakes, pasta, flour, and seeds. Whole grains exist in all sorts of forms and are really easy to cook. A superfood that can be easily stored and will add a variation to your menus! You can eat for breakfast on toast, in cakes or petals. Always prefer traditional whole grain breads and think of a small bowl of muesli you can even make at home using different types of grains to add a unique taste.
What is a whole grain?
Whole grains are opposite of refined grains such as white rice or white wheat. They come in unrefined form conserving the germ, endosperm and bran compared to refined grains which contain only the endosperm.
Whole Grain Benefits – Nutritional Value
Bran the outerlayer of the grain is rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium
Endosperm the middle layer contains carbohydrates, proteins and vitamin B
Germ the inner component of the grain contains fats, vitamin B & E.
Whole grains can help your digestive system, it helps you fight against most common health issues such as heart disease, strokes, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and obesity.
Various Types of Grains
Also known as cereals, grains come in various shapes and sizes, starting from large kernels like the popcorns to very small sizes like the quinoa seeds.
These are unrefined grains that have their bran and germ intact and have not been removed by milling. They are better source of fiber and other important nutrients that are very important for our health.
We say refined when the grains are milled, a process where the whole grain is stripped out of the bran and the germ. This process gives them a thinner texture and a higher shelf life. The disadvantage is that the process also strips out the fiber and many important nutrients. Refined grains are mainly found in the form of flour and white rice.
It is a process where some of the nutrients are added back which get removed during the milling process. It is also known as Fortifying process which means adding back some vitamins and minerals which were not present in the grains, such as the frolic acid and iron
List of whole grains
- Amaranth – it is a good source of protein, compared to other grains amaranth is rich in essential amino acid lysine
- Barley – excellent source of fiber, reduces cholesterol level and helps in digestion
- Buckwheat – very rich in protein, zinc and iron
- Corn – vitamin A, manganese and potassium and also gluten free
- Millet – are rich in B vitamins (especially niacin, B6 and folic acid), calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. It is also gluten free
- Oats – very rich in fibre, helps lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease
- Quinoa – very rich in protein and also a good source of dietary fiber, phosphorous, magnesium and iron
- Rice, both brown rice and colored rice
- Sorghum (also called milo)
- Wheat, including varieties such as spelt, emmer, farro, einkorn, Kamut, durum and forms such as bulgur, cracked wheat and wheatberries
- Wild rice