Whole grains have long been a staple of healthy diets. Including more of them in your diet can have many health benefits that you may not be aware of. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of incorporating whole grains into you diet.
Rich in Essential Nutrients
Whole grains are an excellent source of essential nutrients, like iron, zinc, magnesium, and B-vitamins. They also provide a good source of dietary fiber which helps to support your digestive health.
May Help Reduce the Risk of Certain Diseases
In addition to providing essential nutrients, eating plenty of whole grains can also help to reduce your risk of certain chronic diseases. Studies show that people who eat whole grains regularly are less likely to suffer from heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Some studies suggest that eating whole grains may also help to lower cholesterol levels. This is due to their high levels of dietary fiber, which helps to bind with cholesterol particles and keep them from being absorbed into the bloodstream.
Weight Loss Benefits
Whole grains can also be beneficial for weight loss and maintenance. They are high in fiber, which helps you to feel fuller for longer and may reduce your appetite. Additionally, eating whole grains has been linked to a lower risk of obesity.
Easy to Add to Your Diet
The best part about adding whole grains to your diet is that they are easy to find and they are extremely versatile. You can add them to virtually any dish, so there is no shortage of ways you can incorporate them into your meals. Here are some ideas:
- Breakfast: Try oatmeal or a whole grain cereal with milk.
- Lunch: Try a sandwich made with whole wheat bread.
- Snack: Whole grain crackers are a great option.
- Dinner: Have brown rice or quinoa as a side.
Incorporating more whole grains into your diet can help to improve your overall health and reduce your risks of chronic disease. Adding them to your meals is easy, so why not give it a try? Your body will thank you.
What whole grains should I include in my diet?
Whole grains that you should include in your diet include oats, quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, wild rice, bulgur, millet, barley, spelt, kamut, and amaranth. Additionally, some kinds of bread, pasta, and breakfast cereals contain whole grains, so be sure to check the labels for whole grain content.
What are the health benefits of eating whole grains?
1. Improved Digestive Health: Whole grains contain fiber which helps to keep the digestive system running smoothly. This can help reduce bloating, gas, and other gastrointestinal issues.
2. Lower Risk of Heart Disease: Studies have shown that eating whole grains regularly can reduce a person’s risk for heart disease and stroke. The fiber and other nutrients found in whole grains appear to help keep cholesterol levels and blood pressure under control.
3. Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Eating whole grains regularly has been shown to reduce a person’s risk for type 2 diabetes. The fiber in whole grains helps regular blood sugar levels and keep insulin in check.
4. Weight Control: Whole grains can help a person manage their weight due to the fiber content. The fiber helps the person feel full longer, resulting in less snacking and fewer over consumption of calories.
5. Other Nutrients: Whole grains are a good source of several important vitamins and minerals like magnesium, iron, vitamin B6 and folate. Eating an adequate amount of whole grains can help ensure that a person is getting all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
What are some examples of whole grain foods?
Whole grain foods include: brown rice, barley, oats, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, farro, bulgur, wheat berries, sorghum, spelt, rye, cornmeal, popcorn, wild rice, triticale, and teff. Other examples include certain types of bread, tortillas, cereals, crackers, and pasta. Read the labels of packaged goods to make sure they are a source of whole grain.
What are the benefits of eating whole grain foods?
1. Improved digestive health: Whole grain foods are loaded with dietary fiber, which acts as a prebiotic to improve gut microflora health and can help to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract.
2. Reduced risk of certain diseases: Whole grains have a low glycemic index, allowing the body to absorb glucose and starches from these carbohydrates more slowly. This has been associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
3. Essential vitamins and minerals: Whole grain foods are an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, magnesium, iron and zinc. These nutrients are essential for healthy bodily function and are not always present in other foods.
4. Weight control: As they are packed with nutrients and fiber, whole grain foods can help you to feel fuller for longer, meaning you are less likely to snack. This can help the body to regulate blood sugar levels and promote weight control.