Eating whole grains can benefit you in many ways, whether you are on a new diet or simply trying to be a healthier version of yourself.
There is a growing body of research showing that choosing whole grains over refined grains can improve your health. That is because whole grains have three parts, each containing a variety of nutrients:
- Bran is the fiber-rich outer layer that supplies B vitamins, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, antioxidants, and phytochemicals.
- Endosperm is the interior layer and holds carbohydrates, protein, and small amounts of some B vitamins and minerals.
- Germ is the core of the grain and is packed with healthy fats, vitamins E and B, phytochemicals, and antioxidants.
Refined grains have had the bran and germ stripped away and are lower in nutritional value. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the nutrients found in whole grains can help steady blood sugar and reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. They can lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart attack and heart disease, improve digestive health, and may protect against some cancers.
What Whole Grains Should I Eat?
At least half of the grains in your diet should be whole. Luckily, there are whole-grain versions of all of your favorite carbs available. Try eating whole grain rice, bread, cereal, flour, and pastas.
Some examples of whole grains you can easily find in your local grocery store include:
- Brown or Wild Rice
- Bulger/Cracked Wheat
- Whole-Wheat Bread/Pasta/Crackers
When it comes to self care, nutrition is just as important as staying physically active and receiving regular massage.