Anyone who chooses white bread over a wholegrain truly isn’t doing themself any favours! It has long been known that whole grains offer us much more fiber, minerals and nutrients than refined grains and this therefore makes them not only the healthier choice when it comes to bread but also for a host of other food staples, including pasta, cereals and rice.
A lot of us know that whole grains are better for us than other options but couldn’t actually say why that is. Well it’s because whole grains contain all three layers that the seed would naturally have – the fiber-rich bran, the endosperm, and the nutrient-dense germ. What differentiates this from refined grains that create white bread etc. is that removing the bran and germ, obviously giving you less of the grain and therefore less nutritional value.
The benefits of opting for whole grains over their alternatives are numerous. Research has found that regular consumption of these grains has been associated with reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. It is also believed to be beneficial to weight loss and helping maintain this because the high fiber content creates the feeling of being fuller and this helps subside hunger pangs. Never has the expression ‘fuller for longer’ been more relevant.
As for the nutrients that can be found in whole grains, these are numerous. From a variety of vitamin B’s that help give you energy you need from your food and regulate your mood. To vitamin E, zinc and niacin, all of which help to improve your eye health, such as reducing the risk of cataracts and slowing the progression of vision loss. These vitamins also help to keep you skin in tip-top shape and looking beautiful.
Magnesium is also present in a lot of whole grains and is believed to be very beneficial to people who struggle with migraine and PMS, if its true then it’s a pretty nice way to fight off a potential headache! It is also great in helping those who are at risk of type 2 diabetes or who have high blood pressure.
Whole grains can be introduced into your diet in a variety of ways and there are a lot to choose between and all of which offer slightly different benefits. Here are a few of our favourites:
Barley – it is a high-quality carbohydrate that will give you a good amount of fiber, an absolute necessity for a healthy diet. Barley also has a lot of vitamin B6, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Did we mention it’s great in juice too?
Bran – the hard outer layer of a grain that holds the vast majority of its fiber. Diets that a rich in good fibers such as these are perfect for aiding weight loss and having a healthy lifestyle in general.
Brown Rice – an easy one to incorporate instead of white rice. Brown rice maintains the nutrients and fiber that are removed when making white rice…enough said.