Health Benefits of Whole Grains : Nutritional Support, Medicinal Foods

Health Benefits of Whole Grains



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The below provides a general overview on this topic and may not apply to everyone. Any treatment protocol should be discussed with a qualified healthcare practitioner ... Please refer to: Medical & Legal Disclaimer.



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Whole Grains are best known for its fiber content; but studies have found that the phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals found in whole grains, which contain all parts of the grain, are just as important.

Below described are whole grains that is available at most health-food stores and many grocery stores.


AMARANTH

Healthy Ingredients: Vitamins E and B. Amaranth is also rich in calcium, phosphorus and iron.

Health Benefits: This tiny grain with an earthy, faintly grassy taste may protect against heart disease and cancer. It is also an excellent source of complete protein -- that is, one that contains all eight essential amino acids.

Serving Suggestions: As it cooks, amaranth releases a glutinous starch that adds body to soups and stews.


BROWN RICE

Healthy Ingredients: Vitamin E and other antioxidants.

Health Benefits: Helps fight eye disease (macular degeneration) and certain cancers, including lung cancer.

Serving Suggestions: Season brown rice as you would white rice, or it can be added to soups, casseroles, stir-fry dishes and salads.


CORN

Mark Stengler

Healthy Ingredients: Of all the grains, whole-grain corn is the richest source of antioxidants. It's also a good source of insoluble fiber, which cannot be digested but adds bulk to the stool.

Health Benefits: Helps fight heart disease and cancer. May guard against cataracts.

Serving Suggestions: Choose whole-grain corn-based cereals, whole-grain cornmeal breads and cornmeal tortillas.


FLAX SEEDS:

Healthy Ingredients: Contain approximately 28% fiber, soluble and insoluble.

Health Benefits: The insoluble fiber helps to relieve constipation, improve colon health and may prevent colon cancer. The soluble fiber comes primarily from mucilage fiber, which is also a great stool softener when consumed with lots of fluid. It also prevents toxicity which results from constipation.

More about the health benefits of flax seeds.


OATS AND BARLEY

Healthy Ingredients:Soluble fiber. When soluble fiber is digested, it changes to a gummy consistency that lowers blood cholesterol. The exact mechanism of this effect is not yet known.

Health Benefits: Lowering cholesterol.

Warnings: Please note that barley contains gluten and must be avoided if you are a celiac patient or allergic to barley.

Serving Suggestions:

Oats: Choose an oat cereal or oatmeal or make oatmeal cookies.

Barley: Use it to thicken soups and make creamy risottos, or cook it with carrots.


RYE

Healthy Ingredients: Rye is a rich source of lignans, a class of phytoestrogens (plant compounds that help protect against the harmful effects of excess estrogen).

Health Benefits: Protects against heart disease and hormone-dependent cancers, such as breast and prostate malignancies.

Serving Suggestions: Use whole-grain rye bread or whole-grain rye crackers.



WHEAT

Healthy Ingredients: High in insoluble fiber and also vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Health Benefits: It has a laxative effect that aids digestion.

Serving Suggestions: Replace white bread with whole-wheat bread and and highly processed cereals with whole-grain cereals. To ensure that a bread product contains whole grain, the label must include the word "whole." For example, for whole wheat, look for whole-wheat flour or whole-wheat grain. Breads that contain seven, 12 or even 15 grains are not necessarily whole-grain breads.






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