Whole Grains – The ‘New Black’

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Whole grains

We’re living in an age where the significance and vitality of healthy living and healthy eating is only escalating at a rapid rate, day-by-day. And why shouldn’t it? Ever since the advent of technology, it has become extremely easy and rather convenient to acquire information and update our knowledge about the various dimensions of almost anything.

While on one hand, a lot of us have managed to master the science of healthy eating and know exactly what our diet should consist of (owing to the rapid growth in its importance), there are, on the other hand, certain small details that we might have overlooked. Let’s take an example here – for the sake of argument, suppose you go to the supermarket and make the ‘healthy’ decision to buy a loaf of brown bread instead of the loaf of white. The question you’ve got to ask yourself here is, are you really making the right choice or are you merely getting carried away by what the trend is? The truth is that in most cases the brown bread that you are buying is made to look brown with the help of chemicals that are not going to prove to be healthy for you no matter what. The other dark truth about brown bread is that it has as much gluten as does white bread which is neither good for digestion, nor good for your blood sugar levels, making it no less unhealthy than white bread.

Surprised? Well, this is just one dietary ‘blooper’ that we’ve conquered here. So instead of harping on what you shouldn’t do, I’m going to talk about what you can and should do right away – Switch to whole grains!

In the olden days, the grains that humans consumed were acquired directly from the stalk. This means that these grains were super rich in fiber and packed with the healthiest vitamins, minerals, fats and plant enzymes and proteins. The major difference between whole grains and refined grains is that whole grains comprise of all the original goodness of the kernel, such as the germ, endosperm and bran, in the exact same proportions. Whereas in refined grains, the germ layer and the bran layer is removed so you’re actually not getting any of the fiber or the other nutrients that these layers are rich in.

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What Whole Grain does for You

Whole grains are packed with natural goodness in the form of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein. There are a lot of advantages of switching to whole grains.

1) Whole Grains Aid Digestion

One of the most important and advantageous reasons to consume whole grains is that they’re absolutely packed with fiber which not only keeps you fuller for a longer time but also promotes intestinal flora. The fiber content in whole grains also prevents constipation which is a common and exasperating cause of concern among most people.

2) Whole Grains Control Blood Sugar Levels

Since whole grains, as mentioned before, are mighty rich in fiber, they play a major role in keeping ‘bad cholesterol’ at bay and keeping blood sugar levels in check. Whole grains also reduce the risk of colon cancer and are beneficial for health. Other than that, whole grains are also know to keep your blood pressure under control.

3) Whole Grains Help Keeping a Check on Weight

It has been found and proven that people who maintain a regular intake of whole grains are likely to keep their weight under control and prevent weight gain for long periods of time as compared to people who consume refined grains on a regular basis. In a recent study, it was also found that the weight gain among people who took to refined grains over whole grains was exponential. Most importantly, whole grains help you cut down on body fat and redistribute it within the entire body instead of centrally, preventing diabetes.

4) Whole Grains are a Good Source of Vitamins and Minerals

While it is true that not all whole grains are a source of Vitamin C and may not always be your go-to for the same, they are however loaded with vitamins such as riboflavin and thiamin and folic acid. While riboflavin and thiamin are vitamins that are responsible for a healthy metabolism, the folic acid in whole grains is responsible for the promotion of red blood cells and also prevents deformities in babies during birth.

Types of Whole Grains

Listed below are the five different types of whole grains that you absolutely must incorporate in your diet right away.

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 1) Whole Oats

Provided you don’t get carried away by marketing and advertising gimmicks, *whole* oats are one of the most advantageous of whole grains since they are packed with an anti-oxidant called avenanthramide which protects the heart. Whole oats, also popularly known as oatmeal are also known to aid weight-loss – it would be best to keep to the tradition, unsweetened way of consumption for better results.

2) Bulgur

Despite the fact that almost five percent of the bran of this whole grain is stripped off during processing, bulgur is still one of the best and healthiest of whole grains since it is extremely rich in protein (25 percent) and fiber (75 percent) of your daily dietary requirement.

3) Corn

Yes, you read that right. Corn is healthy and tasty and has therefore, made it to our list here. But what you have to keep in mind is that corn is only healthy if it is *whole*. Corn is a rich source of vitamin is and is also high in its anti-oxidant levels. Whole corn is also known to promote intestinal flora and helps in preventing heart diseases and diabetes.

 4) Brown Rice

Another form of whole grains that is super rich in anti-oxidants is brown rice. Not only does brown rice provide with high levels of anti-oxidants, it is also loaded with vitamin B, magnesium and phosphorus which makes is high in nutritional value.

The purpose of this article was to bust the myth that carbohydrates are not good for you. Carbohydrates are as important as any other dietary requirements such as fats, vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc and must be a part of your diet to balance it. So, the trick to incorporate them in your diet smartly is not to completely cut them off, but to make sure that you are consuming the healthy ones.