Whole grains contain all the parts of the original kernel including the bran, germ and endosperm. This makes whole grains a food that is packed with fiber and making them part of a healthy diet can be beneficial to reducing the risk of many types of serious illnesses as well as be helpful in effective weight management.
The fiber content of whole grains needs special mention as it has a lot of digestive benefits.
Firstly, it keeps bowel movements regular and prevents conditions like IBS. It also prevents, inflammation, constipation and diarrhea. With adequate fiber in the diet, conditions like high cholesterol levels can be regulated and blood pressure lowered.
Individuals who consume whole grains on a regular basis are also able to better manage their weight since eating whole grains is a filling experience for all without the need to binge or snack unnecessarily.
Others, who consume refined grains, on the other hand are seen to constantly struggle with weight management issues.
Consuming more refined grains also has the effect of spiking blood glucose levels since refined grains have been stripped of their essential nutrients (with the bran and germ removed completely) leaving behind a starchy food that neither satisfies hunger nor gives nutritional value.
Whole grains have the opposite effect since fiber fills you up well, and does not let your blood glucose levels get out of control.
Fiber aside, whole grains also offer a number of other nutrients including B vitamins, antioxidants and trace minerals like iron, zinc, copper and magnesium.
Whole grains are also a healthy source of plant based protein that should be part of a plant based diet, especially foods like quinoa and amaranth that are complete proteins containing all the essential amino acids.
To add more whole grains into your diet choose to buy whole grain breads and cereals. Add them to your baked goods and make them part of your snacks. Eating popcorn is a fun way to add some whole grain goodness into your snacks.
For meals you can choose brown rice over white rice and whole grain pasta over the regular variety.
Dishes like risottos, pilafs, and even salads can be made with a number of whole grains that will add nutritional value to your meals.
Try including these healthy whole grains on your menu, and eliminate as much as possible refined grains.
- Brown rice
- Wild rice
Look for the whole grain stamp, next time you visit the grocery store. For more information, click here.