Grains are a healthy aspect of our diet. If you eat them in their natural, whole, form, you are more likely to gain more vitamins. There are different kinds of grains to munch on: wheat, corn, rice, barley, rye, quinoa, and many others. Munchers on grain gain a lot: they get B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, fiber, and magnesium.
Healthy Benefits of Grains
There is compelling medical evidence that shows whole grains reducing risks of stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Grains contain phytochemicals and antioxidates and thus, eating three daily servings is shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by 25 to 36%, stroke by 37%, digestive system cancers by 21 to 43%, Type II diabetes by 21-27%, and hormone-related cancers by 10-40%.
There are other benefits to whole grains. They reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, particularly colon cancer and stomach cancer. It also helps making you regular (makes your intestines work smoothly and maintain a healthy digestive system).
Furthermore, whole grain is filling and makes weight management easier. It helps those who are eat more whole grain to maintain a healthier body weight and are less likely to gain weight than those who do not eat whole grain products. Whole grain foods are rich in magnesium and selenium. Magnesium helps in building bones and in sending energy to the muscles. Selenium helps protect cells from oxidation and is very healthy to the immune system.
Still, grains contain folate, which is folic acid, a B vitamin that helps the body form red blood cells. This is particularly important for those who are pregnant because it helps with fetal development. Another thing that grain contains is iron, which is used to carry oxygen in the blood. A lot of girls tend to have iron deficiencies, who knew the answer to their problem can come from other sources other than a pill form!
Grains are also rich in B vitamins: Thiamin, niacin,
and riboflavin, all of which play an important role in your maintaining your metabolism. They help your body release energy from all the food you consume (fat, protein, and carbohydrates). These B vitamins are also important to maintaining a healthy nervous system.
But manufacturers do not always make products whole. In fact, they are known to strip grains of this wholeness for unknown reasons. It baffles me that they do this, because refined food is nowhere as healthy as whole grain food.
Eating Healthy with Grains
There are many ways to incorporate grains into your daily diet for healthy eating. First, make sure you are choosing whole grain breads, bagels, crackers, meal, and cereals. Have oatmeal or cereal for breakfast. Maybe even make yourself a sandwich with whole grain bread.
For a snack, do like they do at http://www.healthscapes.org and consider popcorn. Air popped popcorn is the best. I love popcorn as a snack. It is filling and healthy. Make sure you avoid pre-popped popcorn because it has a lot of oil, fat, sugar, or salt.
Next, make sure you are experimenting with different grains as much as you can. Try pilafs, risottos, and other whole grain dishes with brown rice, millet, quinoa, or barley. Try to add barley to soup. For a fun snack, try to put some yogurt with some oats. And finally, dinner time can include some quinoa with veggies.
It is all about going out there and researching whole grains. Try new things, new dishes, new grains. Incorporate different grains throughout the day. Remember, you need three servings of grains in order to be eating healthy. Try some things that you do not know of. I did that with quinoa. It intimidated me a lot, because it was weird looking and not like regular white rice. But now it is a staple of my diet!
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Kyle Snyder writes for HealthScapes.org. If you liked this article, you can read more by visiting his site.