Did you know that at least half of the grains you consume daily should be whole grains? I’m going to share a little bit about the nutritional benefits of whole grains, food suggestions for whole grains, and how to shop wisely.
Whole grains are made up of the bran, germ, and endosperm. These parts contain nutrients like:
- Bran: fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants
- Germ: B vitamins, proteins, fat, minerals
- Endosperm: primarily starchy carbohydrates and protein
Why are these nutrients so important?
- may decrease risk of heart disease and chronic diseases as a result of lowered cholesterol
- adds bulk to improve GI function (if you also drink enough water!)
- can aid in weight loss because it slows gastric emptying
- play important role in metabolism
- needed for energy production
- Folate plays a role in production of red blood cells and DNA
- important for muscle growth
- important in our body’s repair/healing process
- slows gastric emptying and plays a role in glycemic control
- carries oxygen in the blood to tissues and organs
- needed to prevent iron-deficiency anemia
- 50% is found in our bones!
- involved in protein and fatty acid synthesis
So, now that you know why whole grains are important – what can you eat to make sure they’re in your diet? Check out any of these options!
- bulgur wheat
- brown rice
- whole grains/wheat bread
- whole grain rye
- whole grain popcorn
- rolled oats
- wild rice