Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel including the bran, which is the fibrous outer covering. Because these grains are not milled, they are healthier than refined grains and contain more nutrients, including fiber, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals.
Examples of whole grains include:
- Whole wheat
- Brown rice and wild rice
What nutrients are in whole grain foods?
Whole grains contain three edible parts: the outermost part (bran), the middle part (germ) and the innermost part (endosperm).
- Bran: Bran is rich in fiber, vitamin B, zinc, iron, copper, magnesium, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients.
- Germ: Germ contains healthy fats, protein, vitamin B, vitamin E, antioxidants, and minerals.
- Endosperm: Endosperm is a source of carbohydrates and proteins as well as small amounts of minerals and B vitamins.
What are the benefits of eating whole grain foods?
Whole grain foods have a ton of health benefits:
- Promote digestive health
- Maintain heart health
- Regulate blood pressure
- Maintain healthy blood pressure
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Boost immunity
- Promote skin health
- Lower the risk of stroke
- Lower the risk of type II diabetes
- Reduce chronic inflammation
- May lower the risk of cancer
Although whole grains are great for your health, you may have to avoid them if you have underlying health conditions such as celiac disease or irritable bowel syndrome.
Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disease that can cause sensitivity to gluten, which leads to damage in the small intestine.
If eating certain grains makes you uncomfortable or have symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or bloating, talk to your doctor about suitable dietary modifications that are right for you.
How much should you eat?
According to the latest dietary guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, adults should consume at least 3-5 servings of whole grains each day. A single serving of whole grain is equivalent to any of the following:
- 1 slice of whole grain bread
- 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice
- 1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal
- 1 ounce of whole grain crackers
- 1 cup of dry whole grain cereal
- 1/2 round of whole wheat pita
- 1/2 cup of whole grain pasta
- 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa
- 3 cups of popcorn
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Is Quinoa Better for You Than Rice?Rice is the most commonly consumed grain on Earth for a long time and enjoyed due to its texture and taste. Quinoa also takes on a similar texture to the rice once it is cooked, but the nutritional value of quinoa is much higher than rice.
Is Quinoa Good for Diabetes?Quinoa (pronounced as keen-wah) or Chenopodium quinoa is an annual herb of the goosefoot family. The herb is known for its edible starchy seeds. It is native to the Andean highlands and is popular over the world for its health benefits. Quinoa seeds may be used as cooked grains or grounded into flour.
Why Are Whole Grains Better?Grains are seeds of grass-like plants called cereals, such as corn, rice, and wheat. Grains may be refined or whole. Whole grain is the grain consumed without undergoing processing.