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Your Guide to Grains

Apr 18, 2008
Grains are simply the seed-bearing fruit from grasses. Whole grains are more nutritious than refined grains because they contain all three parts of the grain which includes the bran, the endosperm and the germ. The bran composes the outer layer of the seed and it is high in many minerals including iron, riboflavin, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, thiamine and zinc. Most of the fiber of the seed is contained in the bran.

Barley is a grain that is rich in beta glutens which is a form of fiber that is very effective at decreasing the risk of heart disease by decreasing the low density lipoprotein in the arteries. This is sometimes referred to as LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol. The best form of barley to eat is the hulled, waxy forms that are readily available in health food stores and some grocery stores. When purchasing barley always look for the word "unpearled" on the packaging as this means that is both unprocessed and also very high in its fiber content. Be aware that fiber in any form beneficial in lowering blood pressure levels.

When choosing bran cereal always buy one that is high in wheat bran content. No other form of insoluble fiber is better at making the stools function properly as well as fighting cancer. It is believed by researchers that the quicker toxins are able to move through the bowels and be eliminated the lower a risk an individual has of developing colorectal cancer. Choose a bran cereal that is able to provide you with five grams of fiber in each serving or more.

Oats act like a sponge in the body, soaking up cholesterol and therefore, decreasing the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood. Oats are a form of soluble fiber. Consuming at least three grams per day of oats is believed to lessen bad cholesterol by 5.6 percent in a matter of six weeks. The more oats you eat the lower will your LDL cholesterol be.

Whole wheat bread and whole wheat flour contains vitamin B6 and magnesium and the fiber content in it is triple that found in white bread and whole flour products. Vitamin B6 is particularly relevant as individual ages because it works to keep the immune system as strong as it can possibly be. Do not just consume whole wheat bread but let whole wheat extend to pastas and baked goods as well.

Wheat germ is full of a tremendous amount of nutrients and is excellent to sprinkle atop breakfast cereal or porridge to get the day off to a good start. Wheat germ can also be sprinkled over yogurt, soaps, casseroles and a variety of other recipes as it has kind of a bland flavor that does not make it work well alone. Consuming merely a quarter cup of wheat germ supplies a person with all of the B vitamins, as well as iron, zinc, magnesium and five grams of fiber. Wheat germ is also rich in chromium, manganese and vitamin E.
About the Author
Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Nutrition & Health.
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