5 Whole Grains That Are Good For You
You’ve probably heard that you should eat whole grains rather than foods made from processed white flour, but do you know why eating this way is good for you?
It’s because whole grain is food in its natural state where the seed is kept whole rather than ground up. There are three parts of the seed that is edible, the endosperm, the germ, and the bran.
Each of these parts holds essential nutrients unlike processed grains such as white bread, white pasta and white rice that have been milled to take away the germ and bran and leave only the endosperm.
The reason this is done is that it gives the product a finer texture and a longer shelf life. In the process, it also takes away its essential nutrients. So, whole grains should always be your choice and you can find them in many different forms including cereals, flour, pasta, rice, and bread.
What nutrients do they contain?
Because eating whole grains is so beneficial to your health, most nutritionists recommend that you eat three servings daily. But even if you only eat one serving a day, it has been shown that you will have reduced your disease risk.
Whole grains are essential for weight management because of the high amounts of fiber that they contain. This fiber helps regulate your blood sugar and will make you feel fuller longer. In addition, whole grains are full of minerals such as iron, selenium, and magnesium and B vitamins such as folate, thiamin, niacin, and riboflavin.
Do whole grains help prevent disease?
Yes, this is absolutely true. The Whole Grains Council has stated that eating whole grains can reduce your chances of heart disease by 25-28 percent, Type 2 diabetes by 21-30 percent and stroke by 30-36 percent. These are huge numbers and need to be taken seriously.
Which grains are the healthiest?
Quinoa is not only healthy but it tastes very good. It is different from other grains in that when it’s cooked it becomes fluffy and light and it cooks quickly compared to other grains. Also, its flavor is not overwhelming so it can be combined with other foods.
Quinoa is high in protein and low in fat. It also helps regulate cholesterol levels, aids digestion and can help fight off some types of cancer. In addition, it is a great energy source and helps reinforce and strengthen glands, organs, and muscles.
2. Brown rice
As an alternative to white rice, brown rice is the healthy choice. It is more nutritious because it is unprocessed. It is also protein-rich and contains B vitamins and fiber. With its essential nutrients that are not found in many other foods, it is an excellent supplement to your diet. For example, gallstones can be prevented by the fiber that brown rice contains and it is recommended for anyone who might be developing gallstones.
3. Whole oats
If you are trying to add more calories to your diet, whole oats are an excellent choice. That’s because 1 cup of whole oats has over 600 calories. Whole oats are also rich in fiber. In fact, one cup will provide 67 percent of the recommended daily fiber intake for adults.
They also contain high amounts of iron and protein. When you eat whole oats for breakfast you will feel full longer and they will help keep you from eating again before lunch. Whole oats are also a great source of energy and cooked whole oats help to regulate blood sugar. So, they are good to help prevent type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.
Another excellent grain source is barley which has a nutty, hearty flavor that complements almost any food and it has a consistency similar to pasta. One of the advantages of eating barley is that it is low in calories and full of essential nutrients such as manganese, selenium, phosphorus, iron, copper, protein, and fiber.
The biggest drawback to eating barley is that it takes a long time to cook so it isn’t as convenient. But, if you plan ahead and set aside the time it takes to cook, it’s worth the trouble. That’s because it also reduces the fat known as visceral fat which surrounds your vital organs. As a result, barley is highly recommended if you are trying to lose belly fat.
Another very healthy whole grain is millet. This is a very small grain that comes in many colors including gray, red, yellow or white. It also has a good, savory taste and can be eaten pureed or whole. As with many other whole grains, millet is high in nutrients such as fiber, phosphorus, manganese, and protein while being low in calories. Its magnesium content makes it helpful in maintaining heart health.
Finally, it helps reinforce and develop body tissues and lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes. So it is an important food for pre-diabetics and people who are prone to developing gallstones.
For all of these reasons, try whole grains because chances are you will love them. And best of all, they don’t have the low carb problems like their alternative, white grains.