18 Incredible Wheat Benefits

The powerful health benefits of wheat include its ability to control obesity, boost energy, inhibit type 2 diabetes, improve metabolism, and prevent asthma and gallstones. It also reduces the risk of breast cancer, protects against heart diseases, and boosts digestion.

What Is Wheat?

Wheat is the most common cereal grain, which comes from a type of grass (Triticum). The whole grain kernel of wheat, composed of bran (outer layer), wheat germ, and endosperm (innermost part), is an immense energy source. Wheat originated in Southwestern Asia, but today it is one of the [1] top cereal crops grown in several countries for human consumption. Commonly, wheat cultivation is done at higher latitudes. It is primarily used for baking products such as bread, bagels, cakes, and muffins

Nutrition

Unrefined wheat contains complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and a moderate amount of proteins. It is rich in catalytic elements, mineral saltscalciummagnesiumpotassium, sulfur, chlorine, arsenic, siliconmanganesezinciodinecoppervitamin B, and vitamin E. It is abundant in [2] antioxidants, especially in carotenoids such as beta-carotene.

Wheat germ, which is the heart of the kernel, is particularly rich in vitamin E. It is known to be the main source of the vitamin B complex in dietary structures throughout the world and includes vitamins like thiamin, folic acidvitamin B6, and minerals like manganese, magnesium, and zinc. Wheat germ oil improves strength and increases lifespan.

Wheat bran, the outer layer [3] of the kernel, is rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants called lignans, ferulic acid, phytic acid, alkylresorcinols, lutein, flavonoids, and saponins.

Health Benefits

Let us look at the most popular health benefits of wheat in detail:

Controls Obesity

Wheat, a whole grain, has a natural ability to control weight, but this ability is more pronounced [4] among women. Women who consumed whole grain products over long periods showed considerably more weight lossthan others. Also, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown through research that whole wheat, rather than its refined form, is a good choice for obese patients.

Increases Energy

Whole wheat with its vitamin B content helps provide the body with energy. Moreover, the whole grain contains complex carbohydrates, which keeps you feeling full longer and gives you energy over a longer period of time.

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Prevents Metabolic Disorders

Whole grains like wheat are immensely effective in patients with metabolic disorders. Common types of metabolic syndromes [6] include visceral obesity, also known as the “pear-shaped” body, high triglycerides, low levels of protective HDL cholesterol, and a high blood pressure. Intake of whole grain products protects against these conditions.

Also, research showed [7] that a higher intake of whole grains (about three servings per day) was associated with lower BMI and central adiposity.

Prevents Type 2 Diabetes

Wheat is rich in magnesium that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes. These enzymes are involved in the body’s functional use of insulin and glucose secretion. Moreover, regular consumption of [8]whole grains promotes healthy blood sugar control. People who suffer from diabetes are able to keep their sugar levels under control by replacing rice with wheat in their diet.

Reduces Chronic Inflammation

The betaine content of [9] wheat prevents chronic inflammation, a key constituent in rheumatic pains and diseases. Its anti-inflammatory property reduces the risk of other ailments like osteoporosis, heart diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive decline, and type-2 diabetes.

Prevents Gallstones

Since whole wheat is rich in insoluble fiber, it assures a quick and smooth intestinal transit time and lowers the secretion of bile acids. Excessive bile acids are a major cause of gallstone formation. In various surveys by the American Journal of Gastroenterology, it has been proven that whole grain bread and cereals help prevent gallstones.

Improves Metabolism

The fiber in whole wheat products boosts the digestive process in the body and improve the overall metabolism. Doctors recommend eating whole grain bread and other fiber-rich foods. Research has shown [11] that foods made from refined grains not only tend to increase weight but also increase the hazards of insulin resistance.

High in Fiber

When you maintain a fiber-rich diet comprising wheat bread and cereals that are [12] high in bran, you can be confident that problems such as flatulence, nausea, constipation, and distension will be alleviated in no time. This grain is the most popular and easily available bulk laxative.

Also, diverticulitis often occurs due to inflammation and lower intestinal aches. This can also lead to chronic constipation and unnecessary straining, which can result in a sac or a pouch in the wall of the colon. Such cases can be easily dealt with naturally by keeping up with a fiber-rich diet and including whole grains on a regular basis.

Prevents Breast Cancer

Wheat acts as an anti-carcinogenic agent, particularly in women. Studies say that around 30 grams consumed daily are enough for women to reduce the risks [13] of breast cancer. Reports prove that pre-menopausal women who consumed it had a 41% reduced risk of breast cancer in comparison to others who ate other forms of fiber. Furthermore, research at the UK Women’s Cohort Study [14] found that a fiber-rich diet, with whole grains and fruits, is extremely important for women to keep breast cancer at bay.

Promotes Women’s Health

Whole wheat increases energy levels and vitality in women. The long-term Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study showed that the [15] increased consumption of whole grain boosted their energy levels and prevented weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and kept their BMI levels low. The study also showed that women who ate more whole grains were likely to have a healthier diet and a higher intake of fruits and vegetables. Stone-ground whole grain products contain folate and vitamin B, which helps reduce pregnancy and breastfeeding problems.

Prevents Colon Cancer

Wheat bran considerably reduces [16] bile acid secretion and bacterial enzymes in the stool, thereby cutting down chances of colon cancer. Furthermore, the grain contains lignans [17], which are phytonutrients that act like hormones. The lignans often occupy the hormone receptors in our body, thereby alleviating certain risk factors for cancer.

Prevents Childhood Asthma

The International Study on Allergy and Asthma in Childhood proved through numerous studies that a wheat-based diet has the capacity to lower chances of developing asthma by almost 50%. Also, bronchial hyperresponsiveness is the key factor that encourages asthma. This condition is characterized by the narrowing of the airways and increased sensitivity. In many surveys, it has been seen that children who eat whole grains and fish in high amounts do not suffer from such ailments, as these foods have a high amount of magnesium and vitamin E.

Note: However, in some cases, wheat consumption may be harmful to asthma patients, since it also happens to be a food allergen closely linked to asthma. Consult a doctor who can give you a complete examination and diagnosis of possible allergies you may have.

Relieves Postmenopausal Symptoms

Higher intake of unrefined wheat products can help increase the fiber and protein content in the diets in postmenopausal women. This helps in weight management, hormone balance, and relieves postmenopausal symptoms. The lignans content can help prevent postmenopausal cancer.

Liver Detox

Sprouted wheat berries are excellent sources of [18] antioxidants and high fiber, which helps detoxify the liver. The liver is one of the largest internal organs in the body, and keeping the liver healthy helps remove toxins regularly from the body.

Prevents Heart Attacks

Whole wheat is rich in plant lignans [19] called enterolactone, which protects against heart diseases. A Danish journal published a study that showed that women eating whole grains had considerably higher blood levels of this defensive lignan. Furthermore, whole grain wheat products, which are high in dietary fiber, considerably reduce blood pressure levels and lessen the possibility of a heart attack. A high intake of this grain lowers triglycerides or fat in the blood. This slows down the progression of atherosclerosis and stroke.

A recent study published in the [20] British Medical Journal also concluded that people who do not have gluten sensitivity should not avoid such products. Following a gluten-free diet, as a fad could lower the overall consumption of whole grains, which leads to an increased risk of heart disease.

Improves Gut Health

Wheat bran has a prebiotic effect on the human gut microbiota due to its high level of fiber. It helps feed the ‘good’ bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, which improves digestion and increase nutrient uptake in the body. Also, bulgur, a form of this grain, is a great source of resistant starch. It does not get digested in the small intestine, and thus becomes food for gut flora.

Skin Health

Selenium, vitamin E, and zinc in wheat help nourish the skin, fight acne, prevent sun damage, and help prevent skin cancer. Also, the high fiber content keeps the digestive system at its optimal best, which helps remove toxins regularly. This, in turn, helps keep the skin smooth and youthful.

Hair Care

Zinc in wheat helps promote healthy hair and protects the hair from damages caused by environmental factors.

Eye Health

Vitamin E, niacin, and zinc in whole wheat lower the risk of macular and cataract degeneration. Lutein in the unrefined grain helps improve [21eye health.

Prevents Alzheimer’s

Iron, folate, vitamins B and E, in wheat support serotonin production and increase energy levels. This helps prevent mental diseases such as Alzheimer’s, alleviate depression, enhance mood and increase overall wellness.

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Types Of Wheat

The grain is commonly consumed in two forms:

  • Whole wheat: If you buy 100% whole wheat products, you are assured of all the nutrients of the bran and the germ, as well as the endosperm.
  • Processed wheat: Bleached white flour is obtained by processing after 60% extraction from the grain. Usually, the 40% that is removed – the outer brown layer – contains the highly nutritious bran and the germ of the wheat grain. In the process of making 60% abstraction flour, more than half of the vitamins B1, B2, B3, and E, calcium, phosphorus, folic acid, copper, zinc, iron, and fiber are lost.

The different kinds of processed flour include:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Bread flour
  • Cake flour
  • Self-rising flour
  • Durum flour

Uses

  • Bread, muffins, breakfast cereal like wheat flakes
  • Sprouted wheat berries: These can be used in vegetables and various kinds of grain salads.
  • Wheat germ: Add it to bread, pastries, cakes, or onto yogurt for an extra nutrient punch.
  • Pizza & pasta
  • Wraps & rotis

Organic Grains & Beans is available to purchase at SFMart.com

This article is originally posted on Organic Facts

11 Amazing Benefits Of Amino Acid Supplements

Amino acid supplements are quite common, as they can have a wide range of effects on human health. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, so your body requires amino acid intake every day, as the body doesn’t tend to store extra amino acids that you consume.

Amino acids are broken into two categories – essential and non-essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are those compounds that the body cannot produce by itself, meaning that you can only access them from food sources or supplements. Non-essential amino acids can be produced by the body, primarily in the liver, although they are also found in certain food sources.

If you lack any of the 10 essential amino acids, it will be difficult for your body to achieve normal protein synthesis, which can have a number of adverse effects on your body. On the other hand, those people who use amino acid supplements can enjoy a wide range [1] of health benefits.

Benefits Of Amino Acid Supplements

The most important benefits of amino acid supplements include eliminating fatigue, increasing fat loss, boosting cognitive function, lowering inflammation, speeding up muscle growth, extending endurance, and supporting repair processes.

Prevent Inflammation

Most of the anti-inflammatory properties of amino acid supplements come from BCAAs – leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These can help reduce [3] inflammation in muscles and joints, which allows longer and more productive workouts, but it can be helpful for non-athletes as well. Ensuring that you have enough BCAAs will help prevent the inflammation associated with arthritisdiabetes, liver conditions, and other common conditions.

Reduce Fat

Research has closely linked amino acid supplementation not only with fat loss but a reduction [4] in abdominal fat deposition and storage. Abdominal fat forms around vital organs and other parts of the body, increasing inflammation and reducing function, so the fact that amino acid supplements can reduce this specific type of fat is very important in your fight against chronic diseases.

Prevent Muscle Damage

When you work out, it does cause damage to your muscles, but this is usually repaired during your recovery period, leading to muscle growth. However, during intense physical activity, your muscle fibers may actually get broken down [5] and used for fuel/energy, which is not a good thing. Amino acid supplements, particularly BCAAs, can help prevent this damage to your muscles by providing the resources for healthy protein synthesis.

Improve Cognitive Abilities

Although tryptophan is an important amino acid, it is a precursor to serotonin in the body, a feel-good neurotransmitter that can slow down your mental quickness [7]. By using amino acid supplements, you can ensure that there are enough BCAAs in your system, which will prevent your body from producing extra tryptophan. If you feel mentally foggy in the afternoons, you may be suffering from a rush of tryptophan and the resultant sense of mental relaxation.

Reduce Fatigue

As you perform physical activities or simply go about your day, you expend energy, which your body needs to replenish. When our body depletes our [6] glycogen stores, it becomes exhausted, leading to that craving for an afternoon nap. However, research has shown that a boost in BCAAs and other amino acids throughout the day helps your body store glycogen more effectively and use it at a slower rate, meaning that you have more endurance for your day, whether you are exercising or not!

Improve Muscle Growth

Perhaps most importantly for people who regularly use amino acid supplements is their effect on muscle growth. Leucine and the other two BCAAs are closely connected with stimulating [8] protein synthesis following a workout, as your muscles will have an ample supply of new resources to boost muscle growth. Interestingly enough, studies show that amino acid supplements can even improve muscle growth in areas of the body that aren’t being worked out!

Speed up Healing

As you likely know, proteins are critical compounds in every area of our body and lead to the growth and development of muscle, tissue, cells, hair, and nails. Protein is also essential [9] for repair and recovery. Therefore, following an injury, illness, surgery or intense workout, a boost from amino acid supplements is extremely valuable, as it can speed up protein synthesis, and, therefore, the rate of healing in the body.

Top Amino Acids

As mentioned above, there are two main types of amino acids, essential and non-essential. To ensure that you are getting these in your diet every day, it is important to know which amino acids you are likely to get from your diet or supplement plan, and which you can simply let your body produce.

Non-essential Amino Acids

  • Glutamic acid
  • Alanine
  • Glutamine
  • Arginine
  • Asparagine
  • Glycine
  • Tyrosine
  • Aspartic acid
  • Cysteine
  • Proline
  • Serine

Essential Amino Acids

  • Tryptophan
  • Threonine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Histidine
  • Lysine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Valine

Those final three essential amino acids are known [2] as branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), which are specifically critical for muscle growth, fat burning, and improved performance. In terms of muscle growth, BCAAs make up 35% of those necessary proteins. As a result, many people seek out pure BCAA supplements, as in other amino acid supplements or dietary sources, the amount of those BCAAs is inherently limited. For people who want to use amino acid supplements as a general improvement for health, traditional amino acid supplements are more than adequate.

Organic Grains & Beans is available to purchase at SFMart.com

This article is originally posted on Organic Facts

10 Incredible Benefits Of Rice

The health benefits of rice include its ability to provide instant energy, regulate and improve bowel movements, stabilize blood sugar levels, and slow down the aging process. It also plays a role in providing vitamin B1 to the human body.

Other benefits include its ability to aid in skin care, boost metabolism, regulate digestion, and reduce high blood pressure. It helps in weight loss, boosts the immune system, and provides protection against dysentery, cancer, and heart diseases.

What Is Rice?

Rice is cereal grain, which belongs to the grass species Oryza sativa and Oryza glaberrima, also known as Asian and Australian rice respectively. The grain comes in more than 40,000 varieties with different shapes, sizes, texture, aroma, and colors.

Different types of rice include white, brown, wild, jasmine, and sushirice, among others. They can be long grain, medium grain, and short grain rice.

Rice Nutrition

Most varieties contain a high amount of carbohydrates and protein. The fiber content varies according to types of rice. For eg., brown rice has more fiber than white rice and therefore, is a healthy option. It is also rich in minerals like calciumironmagnesiumphosphoruspotassiummanganeseselenium, and copper. The vitamins in it include niacinpantothenic acid, and thiamin. It is a great food for people wanting a gluten-free option and it contains negligible fat.

For most people, rice is synonymous with short-grained white rice. This variety is considered healthy as it contains most of the nutrients and is rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which are known for their pro-inflammatory properties. However, it is generally low in vitamins and minerals.

Health Benefits Of Rice

It is a fundamental food in many cuisines around the world and is an important cereal crop that feeds more than half of the world’s population. The health benefits of this widespread crop are explained below.

Provides Energy

Since rice is abundant in carbohydrates, it acts as fuel for the body and aids in the normal functioning of the brain. Carbohydrates are metabolized by the body and turned into functional, usable energy. The vitamins, minerals, and organic components found in it increase the functioning and metabolic activity of all the organs, which further increases energy levels.

Prevents Obesity

Rice forms an integral part of a balanced diet as it can provide nutrients without having any negative impacts on health. Low levels of fat, cholesterol, and sodium also help reduce obesity and associated conditions.

Gluten-free

Rice naturally does not contain any gluten and hence, causes no inflammation in the gut. This means that people suffering from celiacdisease can easily include it in their diet.

Controls Blood Pressure

Rice is low in sodium, so it is considered one of the best foods for those suffering [3] from hypertension. Sodium can cause veins and arteries to constrict, increasing stress and strain on the cardiovascular system as the blood pressure increases. This is also associated with heart conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes, so avoiding an excess of this mineral is always a good idea.

Rice2Prevents Cancer

Whole grain variety of brown rice, is rich in insoluble fiber that helps protect against many types of cancer. Scientists and researchers believe that such insoluble fibers are vital for protecting the body against the development and metastasis of cancerous cells. Fiber is beneficial in defending against colorectal and intestinal cancer. However, besides fiber, it also has natural [4] antioxidants like vitamin Cvitamin A, and phenolic and flavonoid compounds, which help scour free radicals from the body.

Skin Care

Medical experts say that powdered rice can be applied topically to cure skin conditions. On the Indian subcontinent, rice water is readily prescribed by Ayurvedic practitioners as an effective ointment to cool off inflamed skin surfaces [5]. The phenolic compounds, particularly in brown or wild variety, have anti-inflammatory properties, so they are also good for soothing irritation and redness. Whether consumed or topically applied, it tends to relieve a number of skin conditions. The antioxidant capacity also helps delay the appearance of wrinkles and other premature signs of aging that affect the skin.

Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease

Brown rice is said to contain high levels of nutrients that stimulate the growth and the activity of neurotransmitters, subsequently helping in preventing Alzheimer’s disease to a considerable extent. Various species of wild rice have been shown to stimulate [6] neuroprotective enzymes in the brain, which inhibit the effects of free radicals and other toxins that can cause dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Diuretic & Digestive Qualities

The husk of rice is considered to be an effective [7] medicine to treat dysentery. As a diuretic, it helps you eliminate toxins from the body like uric acid, and even lose weight, since approximately 4% of urine is actually made up of body fat! The high fiber content also increases bowel movement regularity and protects against various types of cancer, as well as reducing the chances of cardiovascular diseases. Chinese people believe that rice considerably increases appetite, cures stomach ailments, and reduces all digestive problems.

Improves Metabolism

Rice is an excellent source [8] of vitamins and minerals like niacin, vitamin D, calcium, fiber, iron, thiamine, and riboflavin. These vitamins provide the foundation for the body’s metabolism, immune system health, and general functioning of the organs.

Boosts Cardiovascular Health

Rice bran oil is known to have antioxidant properties that promote cardiovascular strength by reducing [10]cholesterol levels in the body. Wild and brown rice varieties are far better than the white variety since the husk of the grain is where much of the nutrients are; ironically, the husk is removed in white rice preparation.

Rice

Relieves IBS

Rice has resistant [11] starch, which reaches the bowels and stimulates the growth of useful bacteria that help with normal bowel movements. Also, this insoluble rice is very useful in reducing the effects of conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and diarrhea.

Other Benefits

Rice can prevent chronic constipation. The insoluble fiber in it acts like a soft sponge that may be pushed through the intestinal tract quickly and easily. Brown rice and whole grains are known to be rich in insoluble fiber. However, it is also advisable to drink lots of water for relieving your constipated condition, in addition to eating fibrous foods.

Diabetics should [9] include the brown variety rather than the white one, which contains low levels of the glycemic index. As little as one cup of brown rice on a daily basis provides a person with almost 100% of their daily manganese requirement, which helps produce energy from carbohydrates and protein. It is also beneficial for normal functioning of the nervous system and the production of sex hormones.

Rice Selection

People choose different types of rice depending on their culinary needs, availability, and its potential health benefits as well. It can also be defined by the length of each grain. Asian cuisines specialize in long grained ones, whereas American countries prefer short or medium length grains.

Recent Updates on Rice

According to the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, the nutritional value of rice needs to be improved even more so that it benefits mankind. Being the most dominant cereal crop in most of the world, it can improve the lives of millions who consume it.

Efforts are currently being made to increase the micro-nutrient value of this grain by combining traditional methods of growing crops with modern biotechnology. The institute further states that the development of rice with high iron and zinc compounds could be possible through bio-fortification. This can also induce high-quality yields, which could be eagerly accepted by farmers as well as the consumers for longer, healthier lives.