While surfing through the aisle of the supermarket we often come across products labelled as ‘whole grains’. The health benefits of whole grains are very well endorsed in advertisements and other marketing spaces. There is a general consensus that whole grains are better and healthier than the other types of grains available in the market. But what are whole grains and what makes them different from the other grains? Here’s all you need to know about this fad food and how people are going gaga over its health benefits. Whole grains contain all essential nutrients of the seed, which provide maximum health benefits. This is due to the presence of all these components of a grain — the germ, the bran and the endosperm. The bran and germ part of the seeds helps in keeping the skin glowing and hair shining. Whole grains are wholesome providers of carbohydrates, dietary fibres and protein. Inclusion of whole grains in regular diet reduces the risk of several diseases like heart disease, diabetes and even some types of cancers. Contrary to what is popularly believed, whole bran, multi-grain, cracked, stone-ground are not actually whole grains. These types of grains are processed and lack one or the other nutrient component of the whole grain. Now that what qualifies as wholegrain is clear, let’s look at some popular grains that are whole grains.
Whole wheat is the type of wheat kernel that is left intact and is harvested in its original form. While purchasing wheat, make sure the pack says whole wheat, and not just wheat to reap all the benefits of the whole grain.
This magical grain has many health benefits. The gluten-free grain has fibre content that is thrice the amount of wheat. Amaranth helps in reducing inflammation, risk of heart diseases, reduce cholesterol levels, improves digestion and reduces the risk of certain cancers.
Corn or maize is a commonly consumed whole grain and also forms the staple diet of many people across the world. The grain is also naturally gluten-free, which makes it ideal for people who are intolerant to gluten. Corn is a great source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Whole barley or also available as hulled barley, is high in vitamins, minerals and fibres. Only the outer inedible skin of the barley is removed during processing and other parts are left intact thus making it a whole grain.
This whole grain seed carries a handsome amount of nutrients like manganese that improve the brain function and give many other health benefits. Consumption of buckwheat is known to reduce the symptoms of PMS and improve digestive health and control blood sugar level.
The health benefits of oats are well known. Whole oats are one of the healthiest grains to consume. Along with being naturally gluten-free, whole oats are also rich in antioxidants, fibre, minerals and vitamins.
Out of all the whole grains available, whole rye contains the highest number of nutrients and most of the dietary fibres. Rye is also a part of the wheat family, and it must be consumed in whole rye form only.
The whole-grain of millet is rich in fibres and many micro nutrients. It helps in controlling blood sugar and reduce inflammation in the body.