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Whole Wheat Health Benefits

Angela has lived with many inflammatory illnesses. Through the changes in her diet and the use of supplements, her life has turned around.

Just because a bread is brown does not mean it is whole wheat. Often they will use molasses to get the nice brown coloring.

Just because a bread is brown does not mean it is whole wheat. Often they will use molasses to get the nice brown coloring.

What Is A Whole Grain?

Whole grain is a necessary part of the human diet, just as protein, vegetables, and fruit. The standard American diet often consists of refined wheat due to its ease, accessibility, and cost. Unfortunately, our body treats refined wheat very differently than whole grain wheat. Some of the great benefits of eating whole grains are weight loss, boosting metabolism, and maintaining health.

A grain is a whole grain if it contains all three essential parts: bran, germ, and endosperm. Bran is full of fiber, the germ is full of nutrients, and the endosperm is the starch content. Most grains are refined grains, which means it only contains the endosperm. The bran and germ also contain needed antioxidants and a rich fiber source. Non-whole grains may be missing these essential nutrients, which rob the body of necessary vitamins.

Vitamins Found In Wheat

Whole grains are an even more beneficial source of phytochemicals and antioxidants than fruits and vegetables. They contain some antioxidants that fruits and vegetables don't have. They also include Vitamin B, Vitamin E, magnesium, iron, and fiber.

Benefits of:

Vitamin B - supports and speeds up the metabolism - improves the immune system - prevents anemia - maintains healthy skin and muscle tone

Vitamin E - helps with nerve conduction - prevents anemia

Magnesium- allows the absorption of calcium, which will, in turn, allow for stronger teeth and bones - helps maintain a healthy heart - encourages proper muscle function.

Iron - helps transport oxygen to the blood cells and gives blood the dark red color - it also prevents anemia.

Fiber - regulates blood sugar levels - helps you feel full longer, assisting in weight loss.

Benefits

Whole grains can reduce your risk of heart disease and many types of cancer and decrease your blood pressure, blood coagulation, and cholesterol levels.

They can also help those with diabetes or other sugar issues because whole grains can help regulate your blood glucose levels.

Plus, you can weigh less. Studies have shown that people who eat more whole grains weigh less! One reason for this is that it contains fiber that allows you to feel full longer, among many other great benefits to your overall body. It also helps with muscle tone, and the more muscle tone you have, the more quickly you burn fat.

Guidelines recommend that people eat three servings a day of whole-grain products.

Common Whole Grains

  • Wild rice - this is surprisingly tasty and found in many soups.
  • Oatmeal - rather than eating plain chocolate chip cookies, add extra nutrients by making oatmeal!
  • I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of whole wheat rice, so we compromise and make half brown rice and half white rice. It still tastes good and has some health benefits.
  • Whole wheat - Replace your white bread with whole wheat. It's quite flavorful. If you don't like the first kind you try, hundreds of varieties are out there. At a grocery store, they have a whole aisle of different types of bread. Just because you don't like the first whole wheat bread you try doesn't mean you don't want all whole wheat bread.
  • Whole oats - many kinds of cereal contain this! Look on the ingredient panel!
  • Barley - is also in many kinds of cereal!
  • Whole rye - like rye bread.
  • Popcorn - yes, there is some nutritional value!

No matter what you choose to eat, make sure you look at the label carefully, as I indicate below. Some great cereals that use whole grain are Grape-nut, Cheerios, and Total, whereas Corn Flakes and Special K use refined grains.

Check Labels

Just because a product says:

  • Multi-grain
  • Stone-ground
  • 100% wheat
  • Cracked wheat
  • Seven-grainbran

It does not mean that it is whole-grain. You need to see one of the labels on the side. The "good source" stamp contains half of a serving of whole grains or more, whereas the "excellent source" has one full serving of whole grains.

Another good way to determine whether it is whole grain is by looking at the ingredient list. If it says "whole," then it is whole-grain. For instance, if one of the critical ingredients is either "whole wheat," "whole-meal," or "whole corn," then it is a good source of whole grain.

It's easy to become deceived if you see an item made from wheat flour, not whole grain. If it is from whole-grain, it would say "whole-grain wheat flour" or "whole wheat flour."

Whole grain is an essential part of our diet that we often forget due to the cost-effectiveness of refined flour. There are incredible benefits of putting whole grain, whole corn, and whole wheat in our diet.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2010 Angela Michelle Schultz

Comments

mecheshier on December 09, 2012:

Great info here. Thank you sharing. Voted up for useful and awesome. :-)

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on March 29, 2012:

Thanks so much chef, I appreciate it.

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on March 29, 2012:

Ytsenoh, I know what you mean, my husband and I are going to start canning to cut down on cost of healthy foods.

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on March 29, 2012:

I know,I can be a hipocrit, I need to eat better and take care of my body better.

Chef Carlton Haynes from Radcliff Ky on March 25, 2012:

This is a very good hub the information is right on point plus it also gave me some insight on some things that I did not know .....this is one of the hubs that needs a re-post so everone can see this ....great work.

Cathy from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri on March 25, 2012:

Excellent and happy to read this information. Thank you and thumbs up. Wouldn't it be a great world, too, that if all the foods that are actually better for you became part of the supply and demand food chain to such an extent it wasn't so costly?

Pamela Dapples from Arizona. on March 24, 2012:

It's amazing this article didn't get more comments. We all need this review. If we don't look after ourselves and we become diabetic we have to cut out so many good foods. And if we get gout due to our faulty diets, we have to cut out many more good foods. And guess what? When the two lists of "Do Not Eat" for each condition are compared, there is very little left that we can eat without pain or consequences. So it's really good if we smarten up early. (Too late for some of us.) Sharing this. Voting up and useful.

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on July 02, 2010:

DawnM, I will have to check them out, maybe I'll have to reference them on here. In fact, I think I will do just that!!!

Dawn Michael from THOUSAND OAKS on July 02, 2010:

Great Hub Angela and I could not agree more with it. When I by products that claim to be whole grain me always look at the back of fiber content. We only use whole grain in our home and I posted a few recipes with whole grain ingredients.

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on June 02, 2010:

I think as long as you have the stuff in your house all prepared to go, then even on a busy lifestyle, you can make it work. You just have to plan ahead, which is annoying when it's ten o'clock at night and you want to go to bed. But it's worth it. You have more energy when you eat right.

billyaustindillon on June 02, 2010:

Very important to get that natural fiber in your diet everyday - easy to forget it if you have a busy lifestyle.