As it turns out, there are countless ways that whole grains and your digestive health can interact. From being a rich source of nutrients to being high in fiber, whole grains are great for your digestive health.
Here are some surprising facts you might not have known about whole grains and how they can benefit your health.
Which Grains are Whole Grains
Whole grains actually refer to a way of processing grains rather than a particular kind of grain themselves. When grains are first harvested, they are comprised of three distinct parts:
- Bran – This is the hard outer shell that is sometimes referred to as the “hull.”
- Endosperm – This is the middle layer of the grain that contains mostly carbs.
- Germ – The germ is the core of the grain and is comprised of mostly nutrients and vitamins.
When grains are processed they usually lose their hulls or are ground up which causes them to lose nutritional value. What this means is that any grain can be a whole grain so long as it is fully intact. Popcorn is a good example as it is usually a whole grain. Wheat, Quinoa, and Oatmeal are other good examples of grains that often appear as whole grains.
Dispelling the Myths
When it comes to grains and your digestive health, there are some unfortunate myths going around.
The first myth is that whole grains cause weight gain. This is just simply untrue. Whole grains are actually more likely to promote a healthy weight than processed grains. Research has shown that eating whole grain cereal can promote a healthy weight.
The second myth is that whole grains can rob the body of nutrients. This is a misconception due to the fact that some whole grains contain phytates. These are chemicals that can bond with iron and other nutrients, but whole grains don’t contain enough of them to make a notable impact. This is especially true when the rest of your diet is rich in nutrients as is the case for most people living in the developed world.
Rich in Fiber
Whole grains are rich in fiber which helps promote regular and healthy stools. This is one of the most basic functions of the digestive system and whole grains are a rich source of fiber. Diets low in fiber can lead to intestinal problems and a general poor feeling in your digestive system.
Your digestive system is very sensitive to changes, a poor diet, and infection. These sensitivities can lead to inflammation which causes a variety of negative health effects including discomfort and more complicated illnesses.
Whole grains can help reduce the levels of inflammation in your digestive system thanks to their abundant nutrients as well as their high levels of fiber.
Whole Grains and Your Digestive Health
Whole grains are a great way to supplement your diet and have a healthier meal. In a world dominated by processed foods, these complete foods defy the fast food craze in favor of old fashioned nutrition.