People are now starting to realize the importance of healthy eating. Grain foods have been a staple food for tens of thousands of years. Throughout history, every culture, every civilization has used grain foods. Either as a staple in their diet or some other form.
But we tend not to listen to the nutritionists who have been telling us these facts for decades. Instead, most of us get inspiration from celebrities and TV shows. I too have noticed that recently, there is more focus on healthy living on most of the channels that come with my Frontier bundle deals. No matter the reason why at least we are finally becoming health conscious.
One thing we must also remember is to maintain an active lifestyle along with a healthy diet. For most people, simply eating healthy is not enough. It is also important to stay active. If you can’t find the time to hit the gym, walking is one of the best alternatives. Some people also prefer walking over other exercises.
What Are Grain Foods?
Grains are seeds of things like corn, wheat, rice, and some other non-grass plants and pseudo-cereals. To be considered whole grains they need to consist of three parts.
- Bran – which is the outer husk that contains fiber, minerals, and antioxidants
- Endosperm – which is the middle part of the grain, high in carbohydrates
- Germ – which is the inner layer that contains all the vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
As long as they have all three parts in their original quantities, whole grains can be crushed or rolled. These are the most common varieties of whole grains that you can easily get from stores:
These grains are also used to make certain pasta, bread, and even breakfast cereals. A few things to notice when buying pre-packaged goods are mixtures and additives. Some cereals have added sugar and a lot of it. These additives negate the purpose of eating healthy grain foods.
10 Benefits of Grain Foods
Before using a product, it is also better to look at the ingredient list. Sometimes manufacturers mix refined grains as well. Refined grains have the germ and bran removed during the refining process. And sometimes have a few vitamins and minerals added back. This process takes away most of the health properties.
#1. Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Numerous studies have found that whole grains can lower the risk of heart disease. Some studies concluded that having 3 ounces of whole grains reduces your risk by 22 percent. Another study that was conducted over 10 years found similar results. The extensive study observed 17,424 adults. It concluded that those who ate the highest proportion of whole grains were at 47 percent lower risk.
#2. Reduced Inflammation
Inflammation is found to be the root cause of many chronic diseases. Recent studies showed that people who switched to whole grains saw positive results. The people in the study suffered from chronic inflammation. But with a change in diet, their body underwent reduced inflammatory markers.
#3. Lower Risk of Diabetes
Changing from refined grains to whole grains can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Studies show that consuming at least 2 servings of whole grains can lower your body’s insulin sensitivity. Additionally, whole grains are rich in fiber. That helps maintain weight and prevent obesity. One of the leading causes of diabetes.
#4. Help with Digestion
Fiber-rich whole grains can help with digestion. Studies have shown that people who eat more fiber in their diets, rarely require laxatives. Additionally, whole grains help against diverticulosis. Whole grains also contain lactic acids. These promote good bacteria in the large intestine. These aid digestion and promote better nutrition absorption.
#5. Lower Risk of Obesity
Whole grains are high in fiber. Fiber fills you up more than other foods. That means that you tend not to overeat. Overeating is the leading case of obesity today. A study of about 120,000 people concluded that eating 3 servings of whole grains lowers your BMI. BMI is your Body Mass Index.
#6. Help Lower Cholesterol
Whole grains may lower triglycerides as well as prevent the absorption of “bad” cholesterol. Both of these are the main contributors to heart disease. Studies concluded that 2-3 servings of whole grains could reduce the risk of heart attacks. That too by a margin of 30 percent.
#7. Help Regulate Sugar Levels
Whole grains can also prevent your blood sugar levels from spiking. Studies showed substituting just 2 ounces of brown rice with white rice, can reduce the risk of diabetes. By as much as 16 percent.
#8. Help with Asthma
Studies found that children introduced to whole grains were less likely to suffer from asthma. A Dutch study of children between the ages of 8 and 13 had similar results.
#9. Protect Teeth and Gums
A comprehensive study of 35,000 people confirmed that whole grains link with healthier gums. It concluded that people were 23 percent less likely to suffer from gum disease.
#10. Lower Risk of Cancer
Research suggests that there may be a link between whole grains and the prevention of cancer. Some studies suggest that the strongest anticancer benefits could be against colorectal cancer.
Most of us are realizing the benefits of healthier eating and lifestyles. That is also why I’m glad I have many good shows on Frontier TV channels that focus on healthier living. One of the basic things for a healthier diet is whole grains. Substituting whole grains in your diet can improve your health and quality of life.