Whole Grain 101

Whole Grain

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Whole grains are the way to go!

Grains are edible seeds of plants that have been a kitchen staple of many cultures during the history of humanity. Whole grains contain the three key parts of the seed: the bran, germ, and endosperm. However, not all grains end up in the shelf at their full form. Many of them like white flour pass through manufacturing process that takes away some of their important nutrients. Eating whole grains is the only way to be sure that you are taking all the nutritional value grains have to offer.

Whole grains are high in fiber and other nutrients

Whole grains have a very interesting nutritional profile since they are high in fiber, but they also offer a big variety of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Let’s take bulgur for example: a singe cup of cooked bulgur contains 151 calories, 8g of fiber, 6g of protein, vitamin B6, manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, and folate.

Whole grains reduce the risk of obesity

When you introduce high fiber foods in your meals you feel satiated with smaller portions, and you avoid overeating. When it comes to weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight, whole grains are a better option that refined grains because they have a higher fiber content, protein, vitamins, and minerals.  

Whole grains lower the risk of heart diseases and stroke

One of the most important health benefits of whole grains is that they can improve your hearth health. As many studies have demonstrated, people who include whole grains in their daily diet, and especially those who have replaced refined grains with whole grains have reduced risk of suffering from heart diseases or stroke. Whole grains owe their beneficial properties to their high fiber content and certain compounds like vitamin K and antioxidants that are associated to good heart health.

Whole grains promote healthy digestion

Fiber plays a very important role in your digestive system; it is the fuel the colon cells use to stay healthy, and it also helps the regular flow of the digestive track. Moreover, some types of fiber in grains act as prebiotics, they help feed good gut bacteria, which are important for digestive health.

Best Grains to Eat

  • Brown Rice: Gluten free and rich in antioxidants
  • Oats: Lower cholesterols and improve blood sugar
  • Bulgur: High in fiber, low in sodium and fat free
  • Quinoa: Gluten free and high in protein
  • Buckwheat: Source of iron and magnesium
  • Teff: Rich in magnesium and calcium
  • Corn: Low fat and Cholesterol free

How to introduce grains into your diet

Including whole grains to your meals is quite simple, it is more about learning how to appreciate and enjoy the fuller and nuttier flavor of the grains. You can still consume all your favorite bread and pastries but instead of choosing white flour going with the whole wheat flour option. Nowadays there is a whole wheat alternative for everything, sandwich bread, pita, wraps, crackers, you name it!

The next step is to switch white rice for brown rice and normal pasta to whole grain pasta. Apart from that, you could also try serving your meals and salads with bulgur or quinoa.

And that’s just to start. But if you’re serious about good health and losing weight, try a tailor-made weight loss program centered on your needs and goals. It’s the best way to lose weight while increasing your health and stamina. Then share the news with a friend so more people can lead healthier and happier lives.

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