The whole grains They are characterized by being natural and healthy foods that should not be lacking in a balanced and varied diet, given that they provide essential nutrients for our body. In addition to being rich in fiber , are foods rich in slow-absorbing carbohydrates, which in addition to satiating our appetite, helps us control weight to be useful to eat less.
Recently, and for some time now, a series of advertising campaigns have been launched that, although they aim to increase the number of sales of these same companies, help the general population to know some of the Benefits and the different properties to increase the consumption of both fiber itself and whole grains .
For centuries, cereals like rice, wheat, corn, rye and oats They have been fundamental elements in the diet of our ancestors. Hence, since always, cereals have been established as essential natural food products in any diet.
However, today many of the foods that, presumably, would be good for our health, are made with refined grains, which means that the external parts of the grain, the bran and the germ, are eliminated when the cereals are crushed. grinding, preserving the albumen, composed mainly of starch, which is milled to obtain white flour.
What are whole grains?
Basically we could define whole grains as those cereals that have not been subjected to any refining process, so that the cereal grain retains absolutely all its parts . But are not the only ones.
We can also call as integral grain that grain that has only lost its external husk, but nevertheless retains all the germ and most of its fiber, so it is a tremendously rich in vitamins and minerals.
On its fiber content we can set a clear example with whole wheat flour. While 100 grams of whole wheat flour provide about 12 grams of fiber, if we choose refined wheat flour only has 2 grams.
The nutritional properties of whole grains
Precisely because of this, it is advisable to increase the consumption of whole grains in our diet, if possible on a regular basis.
After dozens of studies carried out for decades, it is known that whole grains are rich in fiber , Group B vitamins , in Vitamin E , tianamine, riboflavin, niacin and in minerals like iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, selenium Y match .
In addition, these cereals provide complex carbohydrates (much better than simple carbohydrates, with a high glycemic index), proteins and different protective substances such as lignans, which are plant phytoestrogens with different properties against heart disease and cancer.
And what are their health benefits?
Helps improve our intestinal transit
Precisely because of its high content of vegetable fiber, which we find especially in the outer layers of cereal grain, we have an ideal food for improve intestinal transit , favoring it in a very positive way.
Therefore, it is an interesting and appropriate food in case of constipation, because it also helps stools tend to be softer, improving it.
Reduce high cholesterol and triglyceride levels
A regular consumption of whole grains is tremendously useful at the time of reduce high levels of fats in the blood (particularly cholesterol and triglycerides), which pose a very serious cardiovascular risk when their levels are very high, or when they are maintained over time.
In fact, when we have high cholesterol or triglycerides do not usually appear symptoms until it is too late, which is why it is essential to perform blood tests routinely and regularly.
Prevents some cancers, especially colon cancer
It is known from a scientific point of view that whole grains help prevent colon cancer , since fiber increases the intestinal rhythm favors and improves stool evacuation faster, so that the toxins present in the feces are absorbed before the body absorbs them.
Moreover, it is also known to help reduce other cancers, such as prostate and breast cancer, because they contain lignans, which inhibit the development of estrogen (apparently responsible for the development of cancer cells).
Benefits of whole grains, in summary
- They help reduce the levels of high cholesterol .
- They do not get fat, because they do not contribute calories from fats and sugars, but energy.
- Reduce the risk of mortality .
- They protect the heart , and the intestines in their functioning.
- Decreases blood glucose , so, among other aspects, they are clearly recommended for diabetic people .
- They maintain the alkalinity of the organism, releasing the acidity and protecting the teeth.
An advice : If you are not very used to taking whole grains, we recommend you start with a small amount, and gradually increase it.