Five facts about whole grains

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

By: Betsy Hansen

Five facts about whole grains


Whole grains have made a huge comeback. They provide a boost of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Whole grains even keep you feeling fuller longer because they take longer to digest. Here are five fun facts about these mighty grains.


  1. Don’t judge bread by its color. Just because a food is brown doesn’t mean it contains whole grain. Molasses or caramel coloring is often added to bread to give it a brownish hue.
  2. Are you a statistic junkie? People who consume three servings of whole grains per day have been shown to reduce their risk of heart disease by 25%-36%, Type II diabetes by 21-27%, digestive system cancers by 21-24% and hormone-related cancers by 10-40%! This is all thanks to the antioxidants and phytochemicals (the chemical compound found naturally in plants).
  3. What makes it “whole”? Each grain begins as whole. The bran, germ and endosperm are the three components that make up a whole grain. They can be eaten cracked, split, ground or just as they are.
  4. Whole grains are ancient! One of the oldest grains, barley, has quite a history. It has been discovered that Egyptian mummies were buried with necklaces of barley. Later on in the 12th century, Edward of England stated that the standard inch was equal to “three grains of barley, dry and round, placed end to end lengthwise.” That would take a long time to measure!
  5. They are delicious. When cooking with whole grains, the possibilities are endless. Switch out your store-bought crust with a homemade whole wheat pizza crust. Lighten up with a sugar snap pea and barley salad. Start the day on the right (and tasty) foot with an easy overnight oats recipe.

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BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.