“We give advice by the bucket, but take it by the grain.” -William R. Alger, American Theologian
As I’ve mentioned before, beans are my staple protein. And what better comes to mind when you think of a bowl of beans than rice? Beans and rice go together like salt and pepper. It’s a duo that shows up on my stove at least once a week, usually more. Although, as healthy and versatile as it is, I’m not one to eat brown rice day after day. However, I am known to eat some variety of whole grain each day.
I love experimenting with the vast variety of grains that are to try. According to the Whole Grains Council, there are as many as 19 different whole grains. Many of these I have tried and eat quite frequently. For the next few posts, I’ll be highlighting some of my favorite whole grains (the ones that show up on my plate at least once a week).
But before I delve into discussing my favorite whole grains, let’s talk about what exactly constitutes a whole grain. According to the Whole Grain Council, whole grains are foods that contain all of the essential parts and naturally-occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed.
So what exactly does that mean? Grains are made up of the seeds of certain plants. Whole grains include the whole kernel of the seed, which is comprised of bran (the outer layer), endosperm (the middle layer), and germ (the innermost layer). In processed, refined grains, the bran is removed along with the fiber and nutrients that it contains.
As opposed to refined grains such as white flours and white rice, whole grains contain a considerable amount of fiber. Fiber is a beneficial component of food because it helps to decrease our absorption of cholesterol and gives us that feeling of being “full” after eating.
In addition to being a superior source of fiber, whole grains are also better sources of vitamins and minerals such as selenium, potassium, and magnesium than refined grains.
The consumption of whole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and asthma as well as lower blood pressure.
These healthy seeds are a form of complex carbs, acting as one of the best sources of energy for our bodies.
It’s clear that whole grains are a healthy choice. However, they also prove to be a tasty choice. Refined grains like plain white rice quickly get boring. Whole grains, on the other hand open up a whole world of tastes and textures and provide a cook’s dream for experimentation.
Stay tuned, and become excited about whole grains as I tune you in to some of my favorites in the next few upcoming posts!