All About Grains

Health Benefits

Wheat

Wheat provides 20 percent of the world’s caloric consumption and for the world’s poorest 50 percent, 20 percent of their protein consumption too. Flour comes in two general types. Refined flour is made up of the wheat kernel’s endosperm and doesn’t include the bran or germ. Whole wheat flour includes the endosperm, bran and the germ. In research studies, whole wheat is associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer as well as a reduced risk of obesity and better weight control.

Barley

Barley isn’t just for soup anymore. This grain makes an excellent choice as the starring ingredient in main courses, side dishes, breakfast fare and more.  In addition to its versatility, barley is a nutritious food that’s high in fiber and low in fat. It’s no wonder this centuries-old grain is enjoying new-found interest among connoisseurs of good food and good health.

Eating barley as part of a healthy diet may help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol. Barley is a rich source of fiber including both soluble and insoluble fiber. Researchers have identified a type of soluble fiber, beta-glucan, as the primary component in barley that is responsible for lowering cholesterol. Clinical studies show that eating whole grain barley or dry milled barley products such as pearl barley, barley flakes and barley flour that provide at least 3 grams of beta-glucan soluble fiber per day is effective in lowering total and LDL cholesterol.  Studies also show that increasing daily consumption of this soluble fiber results in even greater total and LDL cholesterol reduction.