‘White bread, pizzas, cakes, cookies in colorful wraps’ is tempting enough to pick up, undoubtedly giving invitation to lifestyle disorders slowly but surely in the long run. ‘Maida’ or refined flour used to make all these goodies is the chief culprit. For refined flour is the innermost part of the whole-wheat which gives just the empty calories and is devoid of many essential nutrients. The wholesome wholegrain is the solution to all the problems.
Components of a wholegrain
A wholegrain consists of all the three parts- bran, germ and endosperm intact, thus making it a power factory of nutrients. Oats, barley, corn, millet, Ragi, sorgam, wheat are some of the wholegrain.
White rice and Maida (refined flour) which are processed from brown rice and whole-wheat respectively lose all the health benefits associated with the wholegrain.
Bran: The outer shell contains approximately 50-80 % of the minerals, fibers, vitamin B and phytochemicals.
Germ: Found just under the bran is a rich source of trace minerals, vitamin B & E and certain phytochemicals.
Endosperm: Is the innermost part of a wholegrain, is starchy in composition and contain most of the protein & carbohydrates.
Milling and grinding the grain provide different grades of flours to be used in cooking subsequently. Whole-wheat when processed gives broken-wheat (dalia) or couscous, Semolina (rawa), and flours of different grades. Maida or refined flour is the by-product of the whole process, the most starchy and nutrition-less product of the wholegrain.
- Low Glycemic index of wholegrain slows down the process of digestion giving a feeling of satiation for a longer period. Thus help reduce the hunger pangs and obesity.
- High fiber contents in it make the stool bulky and help in easy excretion, relieving constipation.
- Low glycemic index of wholegrain also makes it a good choice for diabetics, as it stabilizes the blood-glucose levels.
- Soluble fibers in it help reduce the cholesterol levels by absorbing the LDLs (bad) cholesterol from the blood stream.
- Minerals and vitamins present in wholegrain provides immunity against cancer, high-blood pressure and many heart ailments.
- Eating wholegrain daily can also reduce fatigue and anemia by providing adequate amounts of iron to the body.
Prudent health choices:
- Soak brown rice overnight before cooking to activate the process of germination thereby increasing its nutritive value.
- Keep a stock of whole-wheat crackers and cereals ready for any-time snack option.
- Use whole-wheat flour in baking instead of refined flour.
- Make khichdi using various grains to increase the nutrition manifolds.
- Experiment with porridge using combination of different grains such as oats, barley, ragi, millet and corn.
- Start mixing brown rice in the white rice to develop the taste gradually.
Incorporate healthy measures to be in good shape. Switch to the wholesome wholegrain!