9 whole grains with surprising health benefits

Several kinds of whole grains are available in cereals, pasta, bread, and other baked goods. Fibre, vitamins, and minerals are present in them, and they promote overall health. Some people find they have fewer problems with certain health conditions when they regularly eat whole grains. To maintain optimal health, be sure to consume whole grains regularly, no matter what type you choose.

1. Whole Wheat

Bran, endosperm, and germ make up a whole wheat grain. The bran, or outer layer of the grain, contains fiber, B vitamins, and minerals. A middle layer of the seed is the endosperm, which contains protein and carbohydrates. A germ is the inner layer of a seed that contains essential fats, vitamins, and minerals.

That means whole wheat is full of beneficial nutrients that can support your health in many ways. That is why it is a much better option than refined grains which lack most of the nutrients mentioned above.

In order to reduce the intake of refined grains, whole wheat bread is the best choice. It has a slightly different taste from regular white bread, but you'll get used to it. You can use this bread to make delicious sandwiches or spread some jam or peanut butter on it.

Also, you can use whole-grain flour to make muffins, cakes, cookies, or pasta. This way, you can make these foods far more nutritious.

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2. Popcorn

Unlike most snack foods, popcorn has a low-calorie and high-fiber content. Popcorn is more than a delicious treat - it's also a powerhouse of beneficial compounds. Antioxidants and polyphenols, which are naturally occurring plant chemicals, are present in popcorn. Several health benefits have been associated with them, including reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes type 2, and certain types of cancer.

Remember that I'm talking about popcorn without butter, salt, or other toppings. Adding these things to your popcorn drastically ruins the nutritional benefits of this snack food. Plus, it is going to be much higher in calories.

3. Barley

Barley has been used as a cereal grain for nutrition and animal feed for thousands of years. This grain is high in fiber, protein, and minerals like magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Barley possesses potent antioxidant properties that can shield the body from various illnesses.

Several health benefits are associated with barley, including improved blood sugar control, lowered cholesterol, reduced inflammation, and improved digestive function. 

Barley is available in many different forms, including whole-grain barley, flour, and flakes. Soups, stews, and baked goods can also be made with it.

Barley may cause fullness and bloating if consumed in large amounts. These side effects are less likely to occur if you consume this grain frequently.

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4. Rye

Rye has a lot of health benefits. It has powerful antioxidants that protect the body from damaging free radicals. It also has a chemical called secoisolariciresinol diglucoside that lowers the bad LDL cholesterol and increases the good HDL cholesterol in our body. Also, rye contains a high amount of fiber that helps in reducing constipation, improves digestion, and lowers the risk of developing colon cancer. It also contains vitamin E which reduces inflammation, prevents cancer, and protects vision. You can have bread made from rye, rye flakes, rye bread, etc. to get its health benefits.

5. Oats

Breakfast foods such as oatmeal and muesli often contain oats, a cereal grain. Adding them to baked goods or smoothies gives them some extra nutrients.

The fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins contained in oats make them healthy whole grains. Consuming oats may provide health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Besides being high in protein, oats also contain minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and selenium.

6. Brown Rice

People typically associate rice with the white, processed stuff found in Chinese takeout dishes. Brown rice, on the other hand, is healthier and more nutritious than white rice. Brown rice can be used in the same way as white rice. Only a slight difference in taste can be detected, but you are making a big step towards a more nutritious diet.

Unlike white rice, brown rice is made from whole grains, which have only been partially milled, thus retaining their bran and germ. Therefore, they are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Eating brown rice allows you to digest your food more efficiently and stay fuller for longer. These features of brown rice, therefore, support your weight loss efforts as well.

The food also contains vitamins, minerals, and trace elements such as thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, manganese, selenium, and phosphorus.

Finally, brown rice has excellent detoxifying benefits by cleaning the intestines and eliminating waste. It's the perfect defense against digestive distress and helps keep your digestion running smoothly.

To sum up, brown rice is a much healthier option than white rice.

7. Buckwheat

The buckwheat plant produces triangular seed pods that are often used in flour for pancakes, noodles, and other dishes. Buckwheat has been eaten for centuries in Asia and Europe.

You'll get protein, fiber, magnesium, and zinc from buckwheat. Additionally, it contains an anti-inflammatory compound called rutin. Rutin may help improve blood circulation and reduce the risk of blood clots. Additionally, buckwheat is a low-glycemic food, meaning that it does not spike blood sugar levels. Because of this, buckwheat is an excellent choice for diabetics and prediabetics.

8. Millet

Besides being gluten-free, millet has high fiber and protein content. Rice or other grains may be substituted for this grain due to its nutty flavor. Millets are high in magnesium, potassium, and B vitamins. This cereal also contains antioxidants that may help prevent diseases like cancer. Millet is a healthy addition to any diet.

9. Bulgur

The whole-grain bulgur is derived from durum wheat. In addition to fiber and protein, bulgur is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. You can use bulgur instead of rice, pasta, or potatoes. There are good amounts of thiamin, niacin, and vitamin B6 in it. Additionally, bulgur can be added to soups and stews or stuffed into meat and vegetables.

To sum up

An important component of a healthy diet is the consumption of whole grains. They are high in fiber and other nutrients and can help protect against diseases such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Whole grains come in many varieties. Try incorporating some new whole grain recipes into your weekly meal plan, or simply switch out some of the refined grains in your current recipes for whole grains.