Whole wheats, whole grains, and whole oats. OH MY!

Monday, April 30, 2007

The anatomy of a grain of wheat

A whole grain is mostly made up of 3 parts. The bran, the germ, and the endosperm. Check out this cool picture.
As you can see from the picture. The endosperm makes up most of the kernal, the bran comes next and the germ makes up the least amount. Manufacturers remove the bran and germ when they make refined bread flour (white flour). Which is not good at all.

The bran is the outside layer of the grain and it is a rich source of many vitamins and minerals like magnesium, riboflavin, thiamin, phosphorus, niacin, iron and zinc. Almost all of the fiber within the grain comes from the bran.

The germ is the part of the grain from which a new plant would sprout if you were to plant it. It is a concentrated source of vitamin E, magnesium, riboflavin, thiamin, phosphorus, niacin, iron and zinc. The germ also contains some fat and protein.

The endosperm has very small amounts of vitamins, not nearly close to what the bran and germ have.

So now you know the anatomy of a whole grain of wheat, and you may see a little why it's important to eat the WHOLE grain and not just the endosperm. We're not getting the much needed vitamins, minerals and especially not getting the greatly needed fiber in our diets if we eat refined grains. So let's start eating whole grains more often! After all, if it'll help you live a healthier life, what can it hurt right?

Technorati Tags: Whole Grains, Bran, Wheat Germ, Endosperm

1 comment:

Bubbly Bella said...

Thanks, that was educative, especially the germ which was what was confusing before now