A wholegrain is a grain that contains all of the natural nutrients of a grain seed. Whole-grains contain a variety of different health benefits particularly as they are high in fibre, which aids the digestive system and they are rich in B vitamins such as vitamin B6, which helps form hemoglobin the substance that allows red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body.
Whole-grains can therefore also reduce the risk of heart disease and help lower cholesterol. Studies have shown just by eating one serving of whole-grains a day can significantly reduce health risks including type 2 diabetes and the chance of having a stroke.
So what whole-grains should you be eating in order to be healthy?
Brown rice is a perfect wholegrain to incorporate into your diet as it is rich in anti-oxidants and is a slow release sugar, which can help regulate your blood sugar levels and is good for people who suffer with diabetes. Unlike white rice, which has been refined and has lost some of its key nutrients such as protein, brown rice still contains all of the nutrients of the grain. The benefit of eating brown rice is that it is high in manganese, which helps synthesize fats within the body, which can help control weight and aid towards cutting down body fat. Brown rice also contains less carbs and more fibre than white rice. Therefore, it can help boost satiety and improve blood cholesterol levels. Brown rice is also rich in selenium, which is the key tissue, needed in respiration and this can help reduce your risk of heart disease and arthritis.
Oats contain more fibre than any other grain. As a staple wholegrain, studies have found including oats in your diet can help lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol as well as reducing the risk of developing coronary artery disease and developing colorectal cancer due to their high content of soluble fibre. Like brown rice, oats are high in magnesium, which works by stabilising blood sugar levels, as they are a slow release sugar. This health benefit of stabilising blood sugar levels can reduce body fat and the development of type 2 diabetes. Oats also have the ability to lower blood pressure and improve satiety and digestion. The perfect way to start a morning is with a bowl of a porridge oats, which is an easy way to incorporate whole-grains into your diet!
Bulgur wheat is a quick wholegrain to add into evening meals as it has already been specially prepared and can reduce your cooking time. It can be used as an alternative carbohydrate for meals and is rich in iron, which supports not only the process of carrying oxygen in the blood stream, but promotes a healthy immune system. Another added benefit of eating bulgur wheat is that it is good source of vitamin B3 that can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. In addition, bulgur wheat is low in fat and high in minerals such as magnesium and iron. Bulgur wheat is also a good source of fibre, protein and vitamin B6 which are all essential nutrients needed to stay healthy.
Corn is wholegrain, which has a wealth of health benefits. Firstly, it is rich in both vitamins and minerals and most importantly, it is rich in vitamin A, which is essential for skin cells and vision. Corn is also full of anti-oxidants and fibre, which can aid towards reducing the risk of developing colon cancer as well as protecting the heart, preventing anaemia and lowering LDL cholesterol.
Whole Wheat Couscous
Like most whole-grains, whole-wheat couscous has its own health benefits. Just like corn, couscous is rich in essential vitamins but most specifically in vitamin B6, which is needed for healthy blood cells and is also a good staple wholegrain for maintaining energy levels. As a good source of vitamin B6, consuming whole-wheat couscous can also help towards lowering blood pressure. Unlike some other whole-grains, couscous is actually high in protein, which makes for a great meat substitute and is a wholegrain that can easily be included into your diet.
By including a small proportion of wholegrain into your diet, this can aid towards living a happy and healthy lifestyle!
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