Why Are Whole Grains Healthier?

Whole grains vs. Refined grains.

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A whole grain is a seed.

Grains can be compared to eggs. Eggs have a shell, the egg yolk and the egg white. Grains are very similar. They have a shell…the bran. They have a yolk…the germ. They have the egg white…the endosperm.

The bran is the Shell. This is where the fiber is.

The Germ is Yolk. In a chicken egg the yolk provides the nourishment for the developing baby chick. This is packed full of vitamins and minerals. The Germ in a grain is also packed full of vitamins and minerals. The germ provides all of the nutrients needed for the whole grain, the seed, to sprout and grow a new plant.

The endosperm of a grain contains the carbohydrate that turns to sugars giving the sprout energy to grow.

Why is whole wheat flour so much better than plain white flour? White flour is made by removing the bran and the germ and using only the endosperm.

If two ingredients are listed as grain products but only the second is listed as wholegrain, the entire product may contain between 1% and 49% whole grain. Many breads are colored brown, often with molasses, and made to look like wholegrain. Then they are “enriched” by adding nutrients like thiamine, niacin and iron back into the flour.

When rice is harvested it has several layers of husks around the rice grain. When only the outer husk is removed it is brown rice. White, or polished, rice has all of the husk layers and the germ removed.

Whole barley can be purchased but it is only recommended if you want it so that you can make it sprout. Hulled barley has the bran and the germ but the germ is damaged during processing, so it will not sprout. Pearl barley has had the bran and the germ removed.

The good news about oats is that both rolled oats and steel cut oats still have their germ, so they have plenty of nutrients.

The germ is what makes the whole grains so much healthier.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Noelle says:

    I knew whole grain was healthier but now I know why! Interesting stuff.

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