Wholesome grains

Thursday, 3 July 2014 - 6:15am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Wholegrains are cereal grains that contain bran, germ as well as an endosperm, in contrast to refined grains, which retain only the endosperm. A slice of commercially prepared white bread has 66 calories, 1.9 grams protein and 0.6 grams fiber. A slice of whole-wheat bread has 69 calories and provides 3.6 grams protein and 1.9 grams fiber. The calories are similar but don't miss the difference in protein and fibre. It isn't hard to see which one is the better nutritional choice. Although currently we are in this world of high protein and ridiculous-levels- of-low-carb-diets. But there are just some benefits you cannot ignore about carbs (I am talking of the complex-whole-grain ones)

THE MAIN BENEFITS OF WHOLE GRAINS
• Reduces risk of stroke
• Reduces risk of type 2 diabetes
• Reduces risk of heart disease
• Better weight management
• Reduced risk of asthma
• Reduction of inflammatory disease
• Lower risk of colorectal cancer
• Healthier blood pressure levels
• Less gum diseases and tooth loss
• Mood elevator

Heart disease. There is a strong association between consuming whole grains as part of a low-fat diet and a reduced risk of heart disease. Studies have consistently found that individuals with three or more servings of whole grain foods per day have a 20 to 30 percent lower risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease compared to individuals with lower intakes of whole grains

Cancer Whole grains appear to be associated with a reduced risk of a number of gastrointestinal cancers as well as several hormone-dependent cancers. A review of 40 studies on gastrointestinal cancers found a 21 to 43 per cent lower cancer risk with high intake of whole grains compared to low intakes.

Gastrointestinal health Components of whole grains which include fiber play an important role in supporting gastrointestinal health. The effect of promoting normal intestinal regularity makes whole and high-
fiber grain products integral components of diet plans to help alleviate constipation and decrease the risk of developing diverticulitis (I am sure everyone at some stage in their life has benefitted from the magical effects of Isabgol!)

Mood elevator and sleep promoter Many whole grains are naturally rich in an amino acid called tryptophan, which your body needs to produce serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is the feel-good hormone, improves mood, relaxes the brain and the body, while melatonin helps establish and maintain steady sleep cycles (ever experienced the happy-high after eating bread or a food-coma after wiping out a plate of rice? That's the beautiful effect of melatonin!)

Weight management The mechanisms by which whole grains may support weight management include enhanced satiety to lower energy intake, prolonged gastric emptying to delay the return of hunger, and increased insulin sensitivity to lower insulin demand.

Whole-grains contain many healthful components, including dietary fiber, starch, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, lignans, and phenolic compounds. Since most of the health-promoting components are found in the germ and bran, the foods made with whole grains can play an important role in maintaining good health. When an adequate amount of whole grains are included in a healthful diet, there also comes an occasional chance for little cheats like a portion of refined-high-calorie-maida based pasta or a white bread jam sandwich.

Enjoy every grain in your diet! Stay Healthy!


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