Liz’s Nutrition Notes: Get the Whole Scoop on Whole Grains

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.

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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

B vitamins

  • 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!

  • quinoa
  • bulgur wheat
  • brown rice
  • whole grains/wheat bread
  • whole grain rye
  • whole grain popcorn
  • rolled oats
  • wild rice
  • buckwheat


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