The Lowdown on Wholegrains
Plant grains all start out as whole grains. The term ‘whole grain’ refers to the three key parts that make up a grain – the tough fibrous ‘bran’ which encases and protects the kernel; the nutrient-rich ‘germ’ which has the potential to sprout; and the starchy ‘endosperm’, the fuel source for growth of the germ and the largest part of the grain.
Refined grains have had the bran and the germ removed, leaving only the endosperm. Removing these components of the grain also removes large amounts of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. This is why whole grains are better for you – they retain all the goodness of the grain in its natural state.
It’s recommended that adults eat at least 48g of whole grains each day. Whole grain foods include things like whole wheat or whole meal flours, brown rice, oats, quinoa, buckwheat, freekeh and teff. Even popcorn is whole grain (just skip the salt and butter).