About Whole Grain
The term whole grain refers to a variety of grains, including wheat, corn, rice, oats and rye, which are still in their natural form. Whole grains have a bran, germ and endosperm. To be considered a whole grain, the entire grain must still be intact and not just the endosperm, as is the case in refined grains. By eliminating the germ and the bran, refined grains lose significant health benefits.
Health Benefits of Whole Grains
By keeping the entire grain intact, the whole grain retains more nutritional benefits than processed grains. One of the main benefits of whole grains is the high fiber content. A diet that is rich in fiber has shown to reduce certain cancers, specifically colon cancer, diabetes, digestive problems and heart disease.
The rich supply of nutrients found in whole grains also helps to support a healthy immune system. The whole grain is able to supply the body with a range of nutrients and vitamins, which help the immune system to function properly.
Whole oats are oats that still contain their endosperm, bran and germ. Whole oats are an excellent source of fiber, protein and vitamins. Studies have shown that whole oats have a specific kind of fiber referred to as beta-glucan, which has shown to be especially effective in lowering cholesterol. Whole grain oats contain seven vitamins, including vitamin E and a host of nutrients, including iron and calcium. Oats have twice the amount of protein than whole wheat or whole corn.
Whole wheat is the wheat form of a whole grain. The reason why whole wheat is better than processed wheat is because whole wheat contains more nutrients and vitamins than refined and processed wheat.
In its natural form, wheat provides the body with a range of health benefits. Whole wheat foods have shown to help people lose weight, reduce risk of metabolic syndrome, lower risk of type 2 diabetes and they help prevent gallstones.
Spelt is a nutritious species of wheat with a deep nut like flavor. Spelt originated in Iran and Southeastern Europe. It is one of the first grains which were used to make bread. It served as a staple grain for the ancient civilizations like Greece and Rome.
Intake of spelt in sufficient quantity reduces the risk of atherosclerosis.
Spelt contains niacin that protects the body against cardiovascular risk factors.
Spelt contains rich amount of fiber, which can help reduce cholesterol levels and lowers the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Spelt is known to help reduce the risk of childhood asthma.
The fiber present in spelt also has a protective action in women, against breast cancer.
Spelt is rich in a special type of phytonutrient, called plant lignans. Plant lignans are considered to be highly effective in providing protection against breast and hormone-dependent cancers and also heart diseases.
Eating spelt can help protect the body against conditions like ischemic stroke, insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity.
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In many studies, eating whole grains, such as buckwheat, has been linked to protection against atherosclerosis, ischemic stroke, diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, and premature death.
Whole grains are concentrated sources of fiber. In meta-analysis of 7 studies including more than 150,000 persons, those whose diets provided the highest dietary fiber intake had a 29% lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to those with the lowest fiber intake.
When researchers looked at how much fiber 35,972 participants in the UK Women’s Cohort Study ate, they found a diet rich in fiber from whole grains, such as buckwheat, offered significant protection against breast cancer for pre-menopausal women. (Cade JE, Burley VJ, et al., International Journal of Epidemiology).
Pre-menopausal women eating the most fiber (>30 grams daily) more than halved their risk of developing breast cancer, enjoying a 52% lower risk of breast cancer compared to women whose diets supplied the least fiber (<20 grams/day).
Fiber supplied by whole grains offered the most protection. Pre-menopausal women eating the most whole grain fiber (at least 13 g/day) had a 41% reduced risk of breast cancer, compared to those with the lowest whole grain fiber intake (4 g or less per day).
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Seeds of the amaranth plant have been valued for thousands of years, particularly by the indigenous cultures of Central America and Mexico. Ancient cultures depended on amaranth as a major staple of their diet, due to its high concentration of protein, minerals, and vitamins. It has since been exported to other parts of the world, including Europe and North America, but it is still primarily grown and consumed in Central America.
Some of the most unique health benefits of amaranth include its ability to stimulate growth and repair, reduce inflammation, prevent certain chronic diseases, boost bone strength, lower blood pressure, improve the immune system,
reduce the appearance of varicose veins, maintain healthy hair, and ease weight loss efforts.
Amaranth contains a large amount of vitamin K, which is a well known booster for heart health. Potassium helps to lower blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels and reducing the strain on the cardiovascular system, thereby lowering the chances of developing atherosclerosis.
Antioxidant Activity: New research reveals that amaranth also contains a certain peptide that can reduce inflammation in the body and even prevent the activity of free radicals that can cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells. This anti-inflammatory molecule can also help to alleviate conditions like arthritis, gout, and other inflammation-related issues.
Both the leaves and the seeds of amaranth are valuable in terms of human health. The root itself is also consumed as a root vegetable and has a rich mixture of minerals and nutrients.
“High in calcium for healthier teeth and bones”
There are very few leafy vegetables that contain a higher level of calcium, making amaranth a veritable superfood in terms of boosting bone strength and preventing osteoporosis. Calcium is a crucial mineral for preventing demineralization of the bones, extending your “active life” well into your old age.
Vision Health: The significant level of carotenoids and vitamin A found in amaranth leaves is a major boost for eye health, as these antioxidants can prevent macular degeneration and slow/stop the development of cataracts.
By lowering oxidative stress in the ocular system, amaranth can help keep your vision healthy and strong for years to come.
Amaranth contains a huge amount of vitamin K, which is a well known booster for heart health. Finally, the potassium content in amaranth helps to lower blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels and reducing the strain on the cardiovascular system, thereby lowering the chances of developing atherosclerosis.