Not many of us know the proper meaning of grains, nor they know the importance of grains for a healthy diet and for curing some diseases. The grains are known by their shape and composition, especially the whole grains, but basically they are defined as cereal grains which consist of three parts; the outer shell “bran”, the endosperm in the middle and the germ inside.
Grains are found in different forms in markets, but they are classified into two basic categories; the whole grains which contain the bran, known as unrefined or the natural shelled cereals, and the un-shelled grains used for cooking or making flour.
Grains are sources for many vitamins, minerals, nutrients, oils, proteins, amino acids and acidic fats. Some grains also contain gluten besides the basic supply of carbohydrates.
The whole grains, or natural shelled cereals, are very important for the human body as the bran or the shells are the richest parts with all nutrients and oils, while in refined grains and flour most of these elements are lost in the bran.
The whole grains are recommended in several cases to fight diseases and sustain good immunity through the vitamin supply, in addition to reducing the risk factors of heart attacks and vessel hardening. They provide vitamins that are essential for the skin, hair and organs, and the oils they contain are important in lowering cholesterol and lipid levels in the blood as containing omega 3 & 6 acidic fats.
The nutrients coming from whole grains are important for the body functions and maintaining a good health, but one shouldn’t forget the shiny side of refined grains in giving much energy to the muscles and the brain through the carbohydrate supply.