Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A whole grain of truth.

Whole grains are much more than just added fibre in our diet. Research now tells us that the benefit is in the "package" of nutrients (sound familiar).

Professor Slavin from Minnesota University is reported by as saying that "the individual components of whole grains have an additive and synergistic effect."

This means that the combined nutrient components in whole grains is greater than the sum of the individual component parts. Or to put it simply 1+1 >2 (one plus one is greater than two).

So what are some whole grains?
They are the entire grain seed of a plant. Also known as the kernel, it is made up of three key parts: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm.

Whole wheat, whole oats/oatmeal, whole-grain corn, popcorn, brown rice, whole rye, whole-grain barley, wild rice, buckwheat, bulgur (cracked wheat), millet, quinoa, and sorghum are the more common grains.
Less well known are amaranth, emmer, farro, grano (lightly pearled wheat), spelt, and wheat berries. Spelt is is popular now because of it's higher protein and nutrient content.

Stone-ground corn and polenta have the germ intact so are closest to the whole grain in any ground cornmeal. You can even get whole grain couscous.

Quinoa, not really a grain but considered as one, is another ancient grain which is considered to be almost a wonder food as it contains complete proteine. A friend told me that she uses quinoa instead of couscous.

Soon I'll be posting about specific whole grains and why it is preferable to eat them over refined.


HtCwP said...

I found a trick to make my morning stone-cut oatmeal cook up quicker. Before I go to bed, I put the oatmeal, milk, some raisins or prunes, and a spoon of wheat germ is a bowl and mix. Into the refrigerator overnight - and in the morning, I just heat it up for a minute.

Most of the milk is absorbed overnight and softens the grains, so I just need to heat it up rather than cook it. Yum!

jeisea said...

That's agreat idea. I usd to use juice instead of milk but now do as you do with maybe the addition of non fat yoghurt. I like to throw in some seeds and walnuts in the morning.

Rainbow has a great recipe she mixes up. It's in the recipe section of our google group. I'd love you to post what you do there some time.

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