Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WHAT MAKES A GRAIN A WHOLE-GRAIN?

On this blog I am constantly saying to get rid of refined grains and eat whole-grains. Unless you have a special dietary problem and your doctor tells you differently, you should be eating whole-grains. So sometimes I am asked just what a whole-grain is. A grain is considered a whole-grain when it includes all three parts of the grain (refined grains are stripped of two of the parts and therefore a lot of the benefits of the grain). The three parts of the grain are:

  •  The germ - the innermost part of the grain. The germ's main role is to provide nourishment for the seed. For us it provides essential fatty acids, vitamin E, B vitamins and trace minerals. The germ portion of a grain is removed during refining.
  • The Bran - the "outer shell" of the grain. The Bran's main role is to protect the seed. For us it provides fiber, B vitamins, trace minerals, and phytonutrients. The bran is the other portion of the grain that is removed during refining.
  • The Endosperm - the main or biggest part of the grain. The endosperm supplies us with energy, complex carbohydrates, B vitamins and protein.
You will notice that the two parts of the grain that a lot of the benefit of the grain lost in refining!

When you see the words "whole grain" or the word "whole" before the name of the grain that lets you know the food is main from all three parts of the grain.




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