What are grains ?
In todays world, grains and its products which are flour, bread, cereal and pasta that provide about 50 percent of the world’s calories and the other half indirectly contribute to fed for animals from which we get meat, eggs and dairy products.It has significant amounts of B vitamins (riboflavin, thiamin and niacin), vitamin E, iron, zinc, calcium, selenium and magnesium.
%65-%90 calories in grains come from carbohydrates (mostly complex carbohydrates). Grains are also rich in both soluble fiber (the kind that lowers blood-cholesterol levels) and insoluble (the kind that helps to prevent constipation and help protect against some forms of cancer).
For example ,wheat and corn’s fiber is primarily insoluble, while in other grains, such as oats and barley, it is mainly soluble.
There are two types of grains which are whole grains and refined grains. A whole-grain kernel is comprised of three parts: the germ, the bran and the endosperm.
In refined grains, most of the bran and germ are removed, resulting in the loss of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, lignans, phytoestrogens, phenolic compounds and phytic acid.These key nutrients can reduce the risk of several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke, gall bladder disease, respiratory dysfunction, gout, osteoarthritis, certain types of cancers and premature death.
In addition not all grains are botanically related. Wheat, rice, oats, rye, millet, corn, triticale and barley, are members of the grass family but amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat belong to different botanical families.
What is Kernel ?
A kernel is an edible seed composed of three parts which are the bran, the endosperm and the germ, or embryo. Within each kernel are the nutrients needed for the embryo to grow until the plant can take root and get nourishment from outside sources.But some grains, notably rice, oats and some varieties of barley are covered by an inedible papery sheath called the hull, which must be removed before the grain can be processed or consumed.
What is Bran ?
The bran is the outer covering of the kernel.
The bran consist of several layers that supply 86 percent of the niacin, 43 percent of the riboflavin and 66 percent of all the minerals in the grain, including the nutrient-rich aleurone as well as practically all of the grain’s dietary fiber. Whole grains almost all contain the bran, but it is usually stripped away during milling and so is missing nutritious part of that.
What is Endosperm ?
The endosperm is the part of the grain used to make white flour. The starchy endosperm accounts for about 83 percent of the grain’s weight. It contains most of the protein and carbohydrates and less amount of some minerals and B vitamins than bran. This layer also has about 25 percent of the fiber in wheat is found in the endosperm.
What is Germ or Embryo ?
The germ is the part of the seed that if planted would sprout to form a new plant. It is also the smallest part of the grain that constitutes about two percent of the kernel’s weight. The germ is rich in vitamin E and the B vitamins fewer of the latter than are found in the bran or endosperm. It contains a good amount of polyunsaturated fat which is often removed during milling to prevent grain products from turning rancid.
Here I share a list which grains should add to your daily diet.
Whole Grains List
Bulgur (cracked wheat)
Triticale (rye-wheat cross)
How to Increase Whole Grain Intake, according to the USDA ?
You should substitute whole-grain choices for refined grains in breakfast cereals, breads, crackers, rice, and pasta.
Check the ingredients list on product labels for the words “whole” or “whole grain” before the grain ingredient’s name. Note that foods labeled with the words “multi-grain,” “stone-ground,” “100% wheat,” “cracked wheat,” “seven-grain,” or “bran” are usually not 100 percent whole-grain products, and may not contain any whole grains.
You shoul read the Nutrition Facts label and the ingredients list. Check fiber value of food if it is a good source which contains 10 to 19 percent of the Daily Value per serving, and excellent sources of dietary fiber contain 20 percent or more.