There are many properties of whole grains that we can find in these small foods. Not to mention its very important nutritional benefits.
The whole grains a natural and healthy foods are characterized as that should not miss on a balanced and varied diet, as they provide nutrients essential for our body. In addition to being rich in fiber, they are foods rich in slow absorption carbohydrates, which in addition to satiating our appetite, helps us control weight by being useful to eat less.
Recently and for some time now, a series of advertising campaigns have been launched that, although they pursue the objective of increasing the number of sales of these same companies, they help the general population know some of the benefits and the different properties of increasing the consumption of both fiber itself and whole grains.
For centuries, cereals such as rice, wheat, corn, rye and oats have been fundamental elements in the diet of our ancestors. Hence, cereals have always been established as essential natural food products in any diet.
However, today many of the foods that, presumably, would be good for our health, are made with refined cereals, which means that the outer parts of the grain, the bran and the germ, are eliminated when the cereals are crushed into grinding, preserving the albumen, composed mainly of starch, which is ground to obtain white flour.
What are whole grains?
Basically we could define whole grains as those cereals that have not undergone any refining process, so that the cereal grain retains absolutely all its parts. But are not the only ones.
We can also call a whole grain cereal that has only lost its outer shell, but nevertheless retains all the germ and most of its fiber, making it a food tremendously rich in vitamins and minerals.
Regarding its fiber content, we can put a clear example with whole wheat flour. While 100 grams of whole wheat flour provide about 12 grams of fiber, if we opt for refined wheat flour it only has 2 grams.
The nutritional properties of whole grains
Precisely for this reason, it is advisable to increase the consumption of whole grains in our diet, if possible on a regular basis.
After dozens of studies conducted since you decades it is known that whole grains are rich in fiber, vitamins group B, in vitamin E, Thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and minerals like iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, selenium and phosphorus.
In addition, these cereals provide complex carbohydrates (much better than simple carbohydrates, with a high glycemic index), proteins and different protective substances such as lignans, which are plant phytoestrogens with different properties against heart disease and cancer.
And what are its health benefits?
Helps improve our intestinal transit
Precisely because of its high content of vegetable fiber, which we find especially in the outer layers of the cereal grain, we are faced with an ideal food to improve intestinal transit, favoring it in a tremendously positive way.
For this reason it is an interesting and suitable food in case of constipation, because it also helps the stool tend to be softer, improving it.
Reduce high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides
A regular consumption of whole grains is tremendously useful in reducing high levels of fats in the blood (in particular both cholesterol and triglycerides), which pose a very serious cardiovascular risk when their levels are very high, or when they remain in time.
In fact, when we have high cholesterol or triglycerides, symptoms usually do not appear until it is too late, which is why it is essential to carry out routine and regular blood tests.
Prevents some cancers, especially colon cancer
It is known from a scientific point of view that whole grains help prevent colon cancer, since fiber by increasing the intestinal rhythm favors and improves a faster evacuation of stool, so that the toxins present in the stool are absorbed before the body absorbs them.
What’s more, it is also known to help reduce other types of cancer, such as prostate and breast cancer, thanks to the fact that they contain lignans, which inhibit the development of estrogens (apparently responsible for the development of cancer cells).
Benefits of whole grains, in summary
- They help reduce high cholesterol levels.
- They are not fattening, as they do not provide calories from fat and sugar, but rather energy.
- They reduce the risk of mortality.
- They protect the heart, and the intestines in their operation.
- It lowers blood glucose, which is why, among other aspects, they are clearly recommended for people with diabetes.
- They maintain the alkalinity of the body, releasing acidity and protecting teeth.
A tip: If you are not very used to eating whole grains, we recommend you start with a small amount, and gradually increase it.