Want to reduce your risk of premature death from all kinds of disease by 15 percent, just by making one small change to your diet? Start eating whole wheat.
Perhaps, some additional information about what whole wheat is and what its benefits are for the body can help a little. Here are some facts about whole wheat.
Nutritional content in whole grains
The American Heart Association recommends eating six to eight servings of whole grain foods, especially whole wheat versions, per day. Whole wheat is important to the body for a number of reasons.
- Nutritious fiber content
Oats are rich in fiber, which is concentrated in the bran, while refined wheat flour contains almost no fiber.
The fiber content of whole wheat ranges from 12 – 15% of the total dry weight.
The high fiber content in oats makes whole oats even more filling.
The most common fiber found in wheat bran is arabinoxylan (70%), which is a type of hemicellulose.
The rest is mostly made up of cellulose and beta-glucan. All of these types of fiber are insoluble fiber.
Insoluble fibers pass through the digestive system almost intact, some of them also feed the friendly bacteria in the intestines, leading to an increase in stool weight.
Because of its high fiber content, consuming whole wheat helps launch bowel movements so that they are more regular.
Eating foods high in insoluble fiber can also help women avoid gallstones.
- Important vitamins and minerals
One of the important minerals in whole wheat is magnesium.
Magnesium is used by more than 300 enzymes in the human body, including enzymes involved in glucose use and insulin secretion. Magnesium is also important for heart, brain and bone health.
Whole wheat is absorbed slowly by the body and then metabolized gradually, while refined wheat flour is absorbed by the body quickly, causing insulin and blood sugar spikes.
This factor is the reason why regular consumption of whole grains also reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Whole grains can also benefit your eye health.
Oats’ low glycemic index may help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over 60 years of age.
In addition, the vitamin E, zinc, and niacin found in whole grains can also help improve overall eye health.