Whole grains are considered the healthiest form of grains, as they are naturally high in fiber and a lot of key vitamins and minerals. Eating these plant-based foods can be beneficial for maintaining healthy body weight and controlling the risk of different diseases including heart diseases, certain forms of cancer, diabetes, etc.
There are different types of grains that people usually use. They include:
Whole Grains: They are available either in their whole form or as flour. They retain all parts of the seed including the bran, germ, and endosperm. Each of these parts contains different nutrients.
For example, the bran is high in fiber and supplies many other nutrients like iron, copper, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, antioxidants. The germ has rich amounts of healthy fats and it also contains small amounts of some other nutrients, whereas, the endosperm is the major source of carbohydrates. Hence, all parts of grains are important, as each of them can provide you various health benefits.
Refined Grains: The bran and the germ will be removed from refined grains which can be beneficial for giving a finer texture and extending the shelf life of these grains. However, refined grains are less healthy, as most of the nutrients will be ripped off from such grains by removing the bran and germ. The remaining part is the endosperm that holds carbohydrates. Hence, you will not get many nutrients by consuming refined grains apart from the high amounts of carbohydrates.
Enriched Grains: These grains will have some nutrients replaced that are lost during processing. Hence, they can be a better option when compared to refined grains. In addition to this, you can get fortified grains that come with added nutrients that are not naturally present in the grains.
There are numerous grains that you should add to your plant-based recipes. Some of them are listed below:
Oats are the favorite choice of people who are trying to lose weight, as this grain is incredibly high in fiber. They also contain many important vitamins, minerals, and beneficial phytochemicals and are naturally gluten-free.
This highly versatile grain can be used for making a wide variety of foods including noodles, baked goods, pasta, bulgur, etc. It is also a rich source of many nutrients. But this grain contains gluten which can trigger adverse immune responses in certain people. However, it does not create any problems for the majority of people.
Some other healthy grains to add to your diet are:
- Whole-grain rye
- Bulgur wheat
- Whole barley
- Brown rice
Including these plant-based foods in your diet can be beneficial for you, as they can provide a large number of nutrients and aid to prevent the risk of certain diseases.