Eating whole grains is eating the way nature intended.
Current scientific evidence suggests that whole grains play an important role in lowering the risk of chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and also contribute to body weight management, to lowering blood pressure, and overall gastrointestinal health – improve bowel health by helping to maintain regular bowel movements and promote growth of healthy bacteria (bifidobacteria and lactobacillus) in the colon.
It is recommended to eat 50 to 75 g of whole grains daily (bread, brown rice, quinoa, pop corn, wholegrain breakfast cereals…)
Refined grains, on the other hand, are grains stripped from all their natural goodness, practically devoid of natural fibre, containing chemicals (bleach, artificial colourings, artificial flavouring…) and solvents residues. Over 20 vitamin and mineral elements are removed when whole wheat is converted into white flour, yet only four or five, in synthetic form, are replaced by enrichment. Refined foods were introduced in the 1920s when industrialisation made the refining process both fast and inexpensive. Since then, global health has degenerated tremendously, with a growing number of Heart related disease, Diabetes, Obesity… And today, it has become a global epidemic that cost millions to National Health Services, but mostly lives.
Understanding the Grain structure:
A grain is made of three different parts:
Whole Grains and Fibre
Whole grains can be an excellent source of fibre; however, grains are not born equal: whole wheat, bulgur (cracked wheat), barley, amaranth and rye contain the highest amount of fibre when brown rice contains the least.
Amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat are called “pseudo-grains”, included in cereal grains because their nutritional profile, preparation, and use are extremely similar.
Add Whole Grains into your diet:
Many people are not able to digest grains and many more, if not all of us, react in some way to any or all grains, thus perpetrating inflammation and increased gut permeability, increasing the risk of autoimmunity disorders, and contributing to the metabolic syndrome pandemic.
Despite common knowledge, grains should not hold a preponderant place in our diet and should be enjoyed sporadically as part of a healthy diet, based on plants and other nutrient-dense foods.
Be also aware that "wholegrain" breakfast cereals are laden with sugar and if refine may be fortified with synthetic vitamins (that the body cannot recognise, or use).
J.I. Rodale, The Health Finder (London: Rodale Press).
Jacqueline Verrett, Ph.D., Eating May Be Hazardous to Your Health (New York: Simon and Schuster).
Ross Hume Hall, Food for Nought, The Decline in Nutrition, (New York: Random House, Inc.)
Rudolph Ballentine, M.D., Diet & Nutrition.
Journal of Nutrition, May 2011;141(5):1011S-22S.
British Journal of Nutrition, April 18, 2011: 1-4
Diabetes Care, July 2007; 30(7):1753-7
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 2010; 92(4):733-40
British Journal of Nutrition, January 2008; vol 99(1):110-20.
Registered Naturopath, Nutritional Therapist, Iridologist, Lecturer, NLP practitioner and Personal Performance Coach.
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