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3 Most Popular Whole Grains Health Benefits Visual Infographic

What are the Whole Grains?

Grains are small, hard, dry seeds, with or without attached hulls or fruit layers, harvested for human or animal consumption. The two main types of commercial grain crops are cereals such as wheat and rye, and legumes such as beans and soybeans.

  • BROWN RICE: Brown rice is whole grain rice. It has a mild, nutty flavor, and is chewier and more nutritious than white rice, but goes rancid more quickly because the bran and germ—which are removed to make white rice—contain fats that can spoil.
  • GROAT OAT: Groats (or in some cases, “berries”) are the hulled kernels of various cereal grains such as oat, wheat, and rye. Groats are whole grains that include the cereal germ and fiber-rich bran portion of the grain as well as the endosperm
  • PEARL BARLEY: All barley must have its fibrous outer hull removed before it can be eaten; pearl barley is then polished to remove the bran layer.Pearl barley is similar to wheat in its caloric, protein, vitamin and mineral content, though some varieties are higher in lysine.

What are the Benefits of Whole Grains?

Whole grains are healthier, providing more protein, more fiber and many important vitamins and minerals.

A diet rich in whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some forms of cancer. Whole-grain diets also improve bowel health by helping to maintain regular bowel movements and promote growth of healthy bacteria in the colon.

As researchers have begun to look more closely at carbohydrates and health, they are learning that the quality of the carbohydrates you eat is at least as important as the quantity.

Some grains contain the naturally-occurring protein, gluten. While gluten can cause side effects in certain individuals, such as those with celiac disease, most people can and have eaten gluten most of their lives—without any adverse reaction. However, negative media attention on wheat and gluten has caused some people to doubt its place in a healthful diet, though there is little published research to support such claims. For further information on gluten and health, see: Gluten: A Benefit or Harm to the Body?

Sources:

  • Whole Grains | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan
  • http://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/what-is-a-whole-grain
  • http://www.theyummylife.com/Oats http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2008/12/barley/page-01
  • http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/nutrition-rice-provide-1047.html
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_barley

Written by Anna A. Block

Anna A Block is an educator, entrepreneur, and a mother of three little girls ages 7 and under. She believes in a beauty and power of ordinary, daily mundane. It is where the magic happens and memories created for a lifetime. And, it takes only 20 minutes of "pure" time to tell a story, play, read, talk, make or learn something together. Anna is fluent in English, Ukrainian, Russian, and is learning Hebrew. To know more about Anna, visit her website: AnnaABlock.com or read about her on About Us page.

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