Whole grains are healthy | Here Are the Reasons Why You Should Eat Them
Grains That Are Good For You
Unless you have celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or another reason to cut back on grain consumption, the USDA recommends eating grains daily with at least half being whole grains. With whole grains, you’re getting fiber, a healthy plant-based protein, vitamins, minerals, and a variety of phytochemicals that will improve your health.
Whole Grains | What Are They?
Whole grains have all of the parts of the original kernel—bran, germ, and endosperm—in the original proportions but stripped of the the bran and germ in refined state.
One very important point, however, is that you must always look for the word “whole”—either whole grain or whole wheat on the label, and also ensure the grain is one of the first three ingredients listed on the label. Likewise, a whole grain stamp from the Whole Wheat Council indicates there’s at least half a serving of whole grain inside. And don’t be fooled by bread that looks healthy because it’s brown. It may just be colored with molasses or brown sugar.
Whole Grains Can Contain a lot of fiber
Fiber is one big reason to eat whole grains as adults need about 25 to 35 grams of fiber daily, and whole grains contain two types—soluble and insoluble—which are both beneficial to your health. You’ll get 5.8 grams of fiber in two slices of dark rye bread, but only 1.9 grams from the same amount of white bread. Because it digests slowly, fiber also helps you feel fuller longer. And fiber’s health benefits are well known—it can help control blood sugar, lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol, and reduce colon cancer risk. Granted not all whole grains are high in fiber, some of the best sources include oats, barley and bulgur.
Whole Grains Help Digestion
Whole grains have other digestive benefits, including regular bowel movements and help ward off diverticulosis, the condition in which little pouches form in the colon wall, causing inflammation, constipation, diarrhea, and pain. Fiber is responsible for much of the benefit, but whole grains also contain lactic acid, which promotes good bacteria in the large intestine. These organisms aid digestion, promote better nutrition absorption, and may even beef up the body’s immune system.
Whole Grains Lower Cholesterol
Likewise, whole grains also help your body with getting rid of bad cholesterol and also help lower triglycerides, both of which are major contributors to heart disease. It’s been found that women who ate 2-3 servings of whole grain products daily were 30% less likely to have a heart attack or die from heart disease compared with women who ate less than one serving a week. “Any form of whole grain—including whole wheat, oats, brown rice, barley, corn, quinoa, rye, buckwheat, and millet—will confer benefits for heart health,” says Cheung. “When it comes to oatmeal, steel-cut is better than instant.”
Whole Grains Blood Pressure
The heart benefits of whole grains don’t stop with cholesterol and triglycerides. They also lower blood pressure, one of the most important risk factors for heart disease. One study found a 19% lower risk of hypertension among men who ate more than 7 servings of whole grain breakfast cereal a week compared with those who ate one or less. A study of women also found a benefit of eating whole grains instead of refined grains substantially lowers blood cholesterol.
Whole Grains Weight
People who eat a lot of whole grains are more likely to keep their weight in check and less likely to gain weight over time than those who eat refined grains. In one study, women who consumed the most wheat germ, brown rice, dark bread, popcorn, and other whole grains had a 49% lower risk of “major weight gain” over time compared with women who favored doughnuts and white bread. Result of another study revealed that middle-aged men and women who ate a diet high in fiber gained 3.35 pounds less than those with who went for refined products.
Whole Grains Fat
Even if eating whole grains doesn’t actually make you lose weight, studies have shown that it can help you cut down on the amount of body fat you have and lead to a healthier distribution of that fat. Specifically, eating whole grains can leave you with less belly fat—what scientists kindly call “central adiposity”—which increases your risk of diabetes and other health woes.
Whole Grains Make You Feel Full
One way whole grains may help you control your weight is by making you feel fuller than refined grains such as cookies or white bread. “Whole grains take longer to digest and have a more satiating effect,” says Gans, who is also author of The Small Change Diet. This could also help keep your portions under control. Try rye or protein-packed quinoa to get maximum fullness.
They help regulate blood sugar
One of the main benefits of whole grains is that, compared to refined grains, whole grains help keep your blood glucose from spiking, which can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, among other things. It’s been found that women who ate 2-3 servings of whole grains a day had a 30% lower risk of diabetes than women who ate little or no whole grain products. Another analysis found a 32% lower risk of diabetes in people who ate 3 or more servings a day of whole grains versus a 5% risk reduction in those who ate refined grains. Something as simple as swapping one third of a serving of cooked white rice a day (about 2 ounces) for brown rice was associated with a 16% decline in type 2 diabetes risk. Consuming whole grains has been proven to provide some preventive measures against type 2 diabetes, and can be a smart choice for people with pre-diabetes predisposition or high risk of diabetes.
Adult men and women should get 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day / Some Grains that Deliver Calcium
As it’s been widely known, whole grains may not be an abundant source of calcium, one grain “Teff”, a whole grain type that is common in Ethiopia, has about 123 milligrams of calcium, approximately the same amount to a half cup of cooked spinach.
Some grains offer vitamin C
Although whole grains aren’t your first go-to source for vitamin C, some of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C can be obtained from the whole grain known as amaranth – a grain that originates from Mexico and Peru – is also high in other vitamins and minerals including iron, and is rich in protein, keeping you full longer.
They are a good source of B vitamins
Whole grains are great for metabolism as they are rich in the B vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, niacin as well as folate (folic acid), which helps the body form red blood cells as it is critical for preventing birth defects in babies. Furthermore, whole grains, like Bran, can also help women who are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant with their multivitamin requirements.
They deliver essential minerals
Whole grains are a great source of essential minerals, including iron, which transports oxygen throughout the body and helps prevent anemia; magnesium, which builds bones; and selenium that protects against oxidation that keep our bodies healthy. They also contain zinc, that is necessary to keep your immune system in fighting shape.
They May Reduce asthma risk
An overall healthy diet with more whole grains, fruits and vegetables and less meat, as well as refined foods may reduce asthmatic wheezing.
It’s been found that eating whole grains early in life may ward off asthma and other allergic conditions. It’s also been found that children who were introduced to oats as infants were less likely to have asthma or allergic rhinitis by the time they turned five.
They Cut Markers of Inflammation
Inflammatory condition, like asthma, may be eased by consuming whole grains. It’s also been suggested that whole grains, like barley or brown rice, or a combination of the two reduced markers of inflammation in the gut, and may also cut levels of C-reactive protein – the marker of inflammation that has been associated with the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes but also with issues in pregnancy such as premature birth, preeclampsia and fertility problems.
Whole Grains May Lower Cancer Risk
Though mixed, but eidence that consumption of whole grains as well as vegetables and fruits may lower the risks of certain cancers, such as colorectal, breast, and pancreatic cancer, is growing.
Protection for Your Teeth And Gums
In a study of almost 35,000 male health professionals aged 40-75, participants who consumed the highest amounts of whole grain were 23% less likely to get gum disease than those who stayed away from whole grains. This was true even after taking into account other factors like smoking, age, and body size. Since gum disease is linked to inflammation and other health conditions like heart disease, this is about more than just a pretty smile.
Better Life and Longevity
Whole grains help you live better and may help you live longer. Result of a study on postmenopausal women suggested that women who consumed regular servings of whole grains weekly had a much lower risk of dying from causes other than cancer or heart disease when compared with women who had few or no whole grains in their diet. Result of another study concluded that men who consumed 1 or more servings a day of whole-grain cereal had a 17% reduced risk of dying than those who never or hardly ever ate it.
Whole Grains Resistant Starch
Although carbs are good for you, the trick is to find the right kind of carb that act more like a fiber as well as starch resistant. As they are not easily digested, they move slowly through your digestive system burning more fat, stoking the hormones that make you feel full, maintaining your insulin in good working order and keeping blood sugar and cholesterol levels down. Ten to fifreen grams daily. Oatmeal, pearl barley and brown rice are all good whole grain sources of Resistant Starch, which is also found in green bananas and other non-grain foods.