Companies in the world of food manufacturing are constantly recommending different and healthier alternatives. Proteins, carbohydrates, whole grains, and other buzz words that carry substantial value are usually front and center on an item’s packaging. As we know, protein is excellent for muscle recovery, and carbohydrates are both beneficial and detrimental depending on the diet you choose. Whole grains also have their place in the food pyramid.
Let's take a look and see precisely what whole grains are, where they come from, how they're usually combined with food, and if their consumption will be beneficial to you.
What Are Whole Grains?
First, let’s talk about what exactly a grain is. Certain grass plants produce seeds, called cereals. Some common cereal-producing plants are barley, wheat, rice, oats, and corn.
According to National Geographic, humans get about 48% of their total calories from grains.
The “whole” in whole grains comes from their initial form from the plant. The cereal seed, commonly referred to as a kernel, is constructed from three edible parts.
The outer skin is called the bran and contains antioxidants, fiber, and B vitamins.
In the very center is the germ; it contains and the embryo, which can sprout into a new plant. It also contains many B vitamins, healthy fats, protein, and various minerals.
Lastly, the endosperm surrounds the germ but underneath the bran. This is the germ’s energy source. It makes up the body of the colonel and contains carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
Benefits of Whole Grains
Check Your Labels
And when making the transition to eating more whole-grain foods, be sure to take caution when reading food product labels. Phrases like “multi-grain,” “100% wheat,” and “stone-ground” are usually not indicative of whole grain products despite the clever marketing. According to WebMD, it’s best to look for products that name whole-grain ingredients first on their labels, including brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat, whole oats, and more.
And if you’re so included, check out The Complete Kickstart bars which include whole wheat.