Whole grains are usually an important part of plant-based diets, as they are one of the healthiest foods that we can consume for getting a wide array of nutrients and acquiring energy. Additionally, these plant-based foods are found to provide many health benefits. There are many whole grains that you can add to your everyday diet. They include barley, oats, buckwheat, millet, corn, rye, rice, wheat, quinoa, sorghum, wild rice, bulgur, etc. So you can create a variety of recipes using these grains for your everyday meals.
Whole grain kernels usually have three parts. They include:
Bran: The hard outer shell which contains minerals, fiber, as well as antioxidants.
Endosperm: It is the middle layer that is made up of carbs.
Germ: This is the inner layer of the grains that comprise minerals, vitamins, protein, and other plant compounds.
Grains can be crushed, rolled, and cracked. But as long as the above-mentioned parts are present in their original composition, they can be considered a whole grain.
There are different products available in the market that are made from whole-grains including certain types of pasta, bread, and breakfast cereals. They can also provide you the benefits provided by whole grains. But make sure to look for the term whole-grain in their labels, as there is a large number of such products made from refined grains.
You can derive a lot of benefits by adding whole grains to your plant-based meals. Some of them are listed below:
They Are Rich In Nutrients And Fiber
Whole grains provide a lot of important nutrients that are highly significant to your body. Some of them include:
Fiber: The bran is the part of the grains that contain most of the fiber.
Minerals: These plant-based foods are high in many minerals too including iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, etc.
Vitamins: Whole grains are especially rich in B vitamins like thiamine, niacin, and folate.
Protein: They are an excellent source of protein. They provide several grams of this important nutrient per serving.
Antioxidants: A large variety of compounds present in whole grains act as antioxidants. Some of them include lignans, phytic acid, sulfur compounds, and ferulic acid.
Plant Compounds: There is a wide array of other plant compounds in whole grains that play significant roles in preventing various diseases. They include stanols, polyphenols, and sterols.
Each grain varies in its nutrient composition. However, all grains contain most of these nutrients that are important for your body.
In addition to providing a lot of nutrients, whole grains can offer many other health benefits too. Some of them are mentioned below:
Prevent The Risk Of Heart Diseases
Studies suggest that eating whole grains instead of refined grains can help to reduce the risk of heart diseases. Therefore, try to include whole-grain bread, pasta, etc. in your everyday diet instead of foods that are made from refined grains. This will aid to promote your heart health by preventing the risk of heart diseases.
Lower The Chance Of Stroke
This is another significant benefit that you can derive by adding whole grains to your plant-based meal plans. Certain compounds present in whole grains like antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin K can be beneficial for reducing the chance of stroke by regulating blood pressure and other risk factors that can lead to this medical emergency.
Reduce The Possibility Of Obesity
It is established that eating foods that are high in fiber can make you feel fuller for longer periods. Hence, it can help to control your food intake thereby reducing weight gain. This can be a great aid for people who are trying to lose weight.
As whole grains are high in healthy fiber, eating various foods made from them can keep you full. This property of whole grains can be useful for you to control overweight and obesity.
Control The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
Replacing your refined grain foods with whole grains foods can also help to control the possibility of type 2 diabetes. The high fiber content in whole grains can help to reduce the chance of obesity, which is a major risk factor for diabetes.
Additionally, eating whole grains might be useful for improving insulin sensitivity and lowering fasting sugar levels. This property of whole grains might be a result of the presence of magnesium, which is a mineral that helps your body with the metabolism of carbs and has a great connection with insulin sensitivity.
Promote Healthy Digestion
The high amounts of fiber present in whole grains can help to promote your digestive health. They are useful for facilitating better digestion and preventing problems like constipation.
Whole grains can provide a large number of benefits for you. Hence, try to include different varieties of these healthy plant-based foods in your everyday meal plans.