By now, we all know that grains (especially whole grains) offer numerous health benefits and we should all be eating more of them.
They are also an integral component of the vegan diet.
What are Whole Grains?
Whole grains are nutritious because they contain all three parts of the grain.
The outer bran is chockfull of fiber, phytochemicals, and B vitamins.
It also contains 50 to 80 percent of the grain’s health-promoting minerals.
The endosperm is rich in protein and carbohydrates.
The germ is also full of B vitamins and contains high amounts of vitamin E, phytochemicals, unsaturated fats, antioxidants, and dietary minerals.
Why Whole Grains?
Whole grains are nutritionally superior to refined grains.
Whole grains are excellent sources of dietary fiber, protein, dietary minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Consuming whole grains as part of a healthy, balanced diet has been linked to reduced risk of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, colon cancer, and stomach cancer.
Doctors and nutritionists recommend eating five or more servings a day of whole grain foods.
These include rice, bread, cereal, pasta, tortillas, barley, millet, amaranth, faro, and bulgur wheat.
Other good choices include buckwheat, oats, brown rice, spelt, quinoa, and rye.
However, if you experience issues with gluten, avoid wheat, barley, rye, and oats.
Choosing Whole Grain Foods
Make sure that you choose whole grains and avoid refined grains such as white rice and white flour.
These lack nutrients and are basically just sugar.
They wreak havoc on your blood levels and make you gain weight that may be difficult to lose.
When choosing grain products, avoid such labels as “whole wheat” or “100% wheat.” Look for the words “whole grain.”
While some whole grain food items are not labeled as such, you can identify them by their ingredient list.
Check the first ingredient on the label. If it is “whole wheat” or “rolled oats” or another whole grain food, chances are good that the product is a whole grain food.
You may also check the nutrition information.
If there is a significant amount of dietary fiber, it is likely that the product contains whole grains.