There are many grains (also called cereals) on the market today. All are described differently, that is, refined, enriched or whole grain. These terms refer to the milling process and the making of grain products. Naturally, the difference in the processing equates to a difference in nutritional content.
Refined foods may have lost many nutrients during processing. Enriched indicates that some of the nutrients that were lost during processing have been added back. Wholegrain products include the germ, bran and the endosperm and therefore may be rich in all nutrients found in the original grain. Organic wholegrain is the tip of the iceberg - not only are these grains in their most natural state, they have not been sprayed with man-made chemicals.
Grains are an important source of energy, starch, dietary fibre, protein and are low in fat. Grains are a good source of B Vitamins (the vitamin B’s are needed for the proper functioning of almost every process in the body including energy production and red blood cell synthesis); the germ is rich in vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant). They also contain minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Of course, the best way to acquire these vital nutrients is by consuming whole grain cereals as a preference above the other grains – refined and enriched.
It is interesting to note that the protein in grains is not complete. It is therefore recommended that they be combined with legumes i.e. lentils, chickpeas, beans, split peas to make them a complete protein. This in turn completes the protein in legumes as legumes are also known to be an incomplete protein.
The best way to prepare grains for cooking is to rinse them in cold water prior to cooking. Toasting grains slightly in a saucepan before adding water will enhance their flavor. Once prepared, add water and a pinch of unrefined sea salt. Boil vigorously for 5 minutes and turn heat down to low. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook until water is absorbed.
Amount of Water for 1 Cup of Grain
Bulghur (cracked wheat)
Disclaimer: The material provided is for information purposes only and should not be used as medical advice. Do not use the information as a substitute for medical care.
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