We all know whole grains are good for our health. But do we actually know what they are?

A whole grain is just that — whole. It’s the grain seed in its pure form. All grains start out as whole grains. Refined grains, like white flour, capture only the endosperm — the bran and the germ aren’t used, so vitamins, minerals, fibers, phytonutrients, and antioxidants disappear. The bran is the outside shell that protects the seed, which contains fiber, B vitamins, and trace minerals. The germ provides the nourishment for the seed and holds antioxidants, vitamin E and B vitamins.

Roman_Meal_Whole_Grain_Anatomy

 

  • Bran: Fiber, B vitamins, Trace Minerals
  • Flour: Carbohydrates, Protein, B vitamins
  • Germ: Phytonutrients, vitamin E, B vitamins, Antioxidants

Corn, or maize, is a grain like wheat or rice only the grain head, the ear, is greatly enlarged.

Some studies suggest that whole grain fiber, and not fiber from other food sources, is associated with lower risk of colorectal cancer.