When an athlete makes an incredible play on the field, you might hear an announcer or observer fall back on the old cliche: “Guess he ate his Wheaties this morning!” It might seem like an embedded cultural advertisement, but there’s truth behind it. As one of the few popular cereal brands offering whole grains, the iconic orange box represents a vital wellness factor. More and more, people are beginning to understand the deep whole grain benefits that make this such a crucial corner of the food pyramid. If you want your body to perform at its best, then you should focus on getting these nutrients any way you can.
Not all grains are alike. One of the biggest dietary mistakes we see is when people think they’re getting adequate amounts but really consuming the wrong things. Whole grains include three key components: bran, germ and endosperm. This trio combines to provide the full whole grain benefits spectrum. If you’re eating refined grains or enriched grains — the type found in white flour and white rice, for instance — you’re only getting a fraction of the positive impact.
Before we drive into examining the range of whole grain benefits, let us first run through some of the best and easiest places to find them. Including any of these items as fixtures in your diet will ensure you’re on the right track.
Whole Grain Sources
Whole Wheat Bread: There’s a conception that the only way to get full benefit from bread is through wheat bread, which isn’t everyone’s favorite from a taste and texture standpoint. But in reality, you can get almost all the same benefits from white whole-wheat bread as well.
Oatmeal: Tasty, easy to make and hearty: oatmeal is a breakfast superstar. Combine it with whole wheat toast for the ultimate grain and fiber infusion to start your day.
Brown Rice: As we mentioned above, white rice contains enriched grains, which derive many of the health perks. Stick with the brown version to get your wellness fix.
Quinoa: This grain boasts tons of helpful nutrients and is a potent grain source. Some don’t love the flavor of quinoa but you can add it into many dishes without noticing it too much.
Whole Grain Benefits
According to estimates and studies, only about one out of 10 Americans gets his/her full three servings of whole wheat per day. This is problematic because they are missing out on some vital health perks. Whole grains are loaded with essential nutrients such as fiber, protein, B vitamins, antioxidants, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium and more. The positive effects include digestive support, reduction of risk for disease and obesity, and healthy bacteria growth in the gut.
Ensuring you get your proper dosage of whole grains helps ensure you stay regular. Many people find it helps with constipation or stomach irritability. And as our story on the extensive benefits of probiotics for skin illuminates, this impact expands beyond the scope of digestive health. Out of all the components that many people are missing in their diets, whole grains tend to rank near the top of the list. Take measures to ensure you’re getting enough of these in your diet and enjoy the whole grain benefits across a variety of factors.