Cereals are one of the essential foods in any healthy and balanced diet. They are part of the well-known food pyramid and provide many benefits and properties to your body. However, we can distinguish between whole grains and those grains that have been treated and, therefore, are refined grains.
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Differences between whole grain and refined cereal
Whole grains retain their germ and, therefore, all their properties, vitamins and minerals. On the other hand, refined cereals have remained treated to modify their qualities to extend their duration, please the palate, etc.
If you look at their appearance, whole grains tend to have a darker colour than refined grains due to the presence of bran, which is why the latter are often called white grains. It is the case of white bread, white rice, etc.
On the other hand, the treatment of cereals may remain associated with other compounds such as sugar, saturated fat, salt, which turns out to be less healthy and less natural food. The ideal is to consume whole grains that have not remained processed and do not have sugars or other added substances.
Sometimes you will find products with the label “integral”, and you can associate them with healthy products. But that it remains denominated as integral does not mean that it is beneficial; For example, some cereal boxes you’ll see at the grocery store may state that they are whole grains, but they contain a lot of hidden sugars.
It would be best if you looked for those cereals that are as natural as possible and contain their three main parts intact; the germ, the bran and the endosperm. In this way, you will ensure that they include the properties and benefits of whole grains.
Benefits of whole grains
1. They protect our heart from possible diseases:
Consuming whole grains can help us prevent and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The fibre content, beta-glucan and, in general, the properties of cereals can be beneficial. They also play an essential role in reducing blood cholesterol levels because they have omega-three and omega-six fatty acids, which are very helpful for cardiovascular health.
2. They are good allies to lose weight:
If you think of losing some weight, whole grains are a great option since they have a good amount of fibre and great satiating power, so you will not be hungry for longer.
3. High in fibre:
Its high content in soluble fibre helps eliminate fat and contributes to good gastrointestinal health. The risk of constipation remains reduced, and irritable bowel is considerably improved. Whole grains remain highly recommended for people suffering from gastritis, colitis or gastric ulcers.
4. They are a source of quality energy:
Cereals are carbohydrates, essential for our body to obtain sufficient power. It remains recommended to include carbohydrates in a balanced way in our diet to eat healthily.
5. Reduce blood sugar levels:
These foods are ideal for diabetes, as insulin resistance remains increased from 30% to 50%.
6. Prevent the appearance of cancer:
Numerous studies have shown that the intake of whole grains reduces between 20% and 40% the risk of suffering and developing cancer. Its soluble fibres contribute to the absorption of high levels of estrogens and cancerous substances.
7. They contain essential vitamins and minerals for the body:
It provides antioxidant properties, regulating metabolism, iron, potassium, etc.
Different whole grains that we can consume
Real oat flakes remain high in protein; likewise, they contain good fats that help lower cholesterol. Oats have a high amount of soluble and insoluble fibre and are rich in B vitamins, such as folic acid. On the other hand, it has minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium and manganese.
Try including it in your breakfasts mixed with milk, yoghurt, in the form of porridge, etc.
– Wheat germ:
it is another of the very beneficial whole grains. Its proteins will help regenerate the tissues of our body, and its essential fatty acids will help reduce blood cholesterol levels. Its vitamins include E and B and a multitude of mineral salts. It is very appropriate to combat anaemia since it contains high levels of iron.
Stands out for its cholesterol-lowering properties, as it contains tocotrienols, which block its production. On the other hand, it is high in fibre, which will help us fight constipation.
It is a high-quality cereal. Since it provides a lot of fibre, it is rich in folic acid and vitamin A. It helps to reduce harmful cholesterol levels and to purify our blood. It is very mutual to find bread made with whole rye flour.
– Corn flakes:
It is a perfect cereal for gluten intolerance, so it is suitable for coeliacs. They are amusing in protein, low in fat and high in soluble fibre. Its vitamins include those of group B (B7, B1 and vitamin A. It also contains inorganic salts such as potassium, phosphorus or zinc.
– Buckwheat or buckwheat:
This cereal is attractive due to its high magnesium content and its protective capacity at the liver level. It helps to purify our body, and its nutrients contribute to the acceleration of our metabolism. On the other hand, it helps to synthesize vitamins better and reduce bad cholesterol.
As you have seen, whole grains are very beneficial. They can provide us with a multitude of properties such as minerals, fibre, vitamins and carbohydrates, essential for the proper functioning of our body. It is necessary to substitute refined or white cereals for those whole grains that keep their elements intact and introduce them into your daily diet.
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