5 Reasons to Add Whole Grains to Your Diet
- 2 Min Read
- Fact Checked
Grains are popular for a myriad of reasons. While refined grains are often tied to health problems such as inflammation and obesity, whole grains are different. A few examples of whole grains are brown rice, quinoa, whole oats, barley, broken wheat, ragi, jowar, bajra, buckwheat, and amaranth. What makes them healthier than refined grains is that they contain all three parts of the grain (i.e., bran, endosperm, and germ) — which means they also have more nutrients like iron, magnesium, vitamin B, and fibre. As a result, they’ve got more benefits too — from possibly reducing your risk of cancer to providing more energy.
Looking for more reasons to add whole grains to your diet? Keep reading.
Inflammation is a defence mechanism of the body, but it can also lead to chronic diseases such as type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Whole grains have a low glycemic index (GI), meaning they are digested and absorbed more slowly compared to food with higher GIs. This causes a smaller and slower rise in blood sugar levels. According to Oxford Academic, whole grains also have fibre, phytochemicals, and gut microbiota that help give whole grains their anti-inflammatory properties.
Dietary fibre is a food component that has several benefits for the body. Eating fibre ensures you feel fuller and prevents overeating. Plus, it can normalise bowel movement, prevent constipation, and support digestion. Fibre can act as probiotics as well, which are important to digestive health as they feed good gut bacteria.
Lowers risk of obesity and related diseases
As we’ve mentioned, whole grains are filling — even more than refined grains. Thus, it lowers your risk of obesity and is great for those looking to maintain or lose weight. On top of this, a study from the Heart Foundation notes that whole grains can lessen the risk of stroke and heart disease too. For those who need to lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, whole grains can do the job as well.
Gives you energy for a prolonged period of time
A previous article on MFine cites brown rice as an example of food that will give you energy for a longer period. It was previously mentioned that whole foods have low GI, which essentially dictates how quickly carbohydrates are made into glucose. Foods with low GI are digested more slowly, so glucose is also released at a more prolonged time — sustaining you with energy for a longer time as well.
Easy to prepare
Whole grains are incredibly versatile and simple to incorporate into one’s diet — making it easy for you to follow a healthy diet too. If you’re in the mood for something savoury, you can prepare a Mongolian rice bowl that’s filled with flavourful spices, protein like tofu, and vegetables. You can use your grain of choice — be it brown rice, black rice, or perhaps even quinoa. On the other hand, you can also use whole wheat pasta like this Sonora Wheat Fettuccine. All in all, you can pretty much substitute whole grains in any recipe that uses refined grains for something healthier.
Feature specially written for mfine.co