What exactly does whole grain mean?
Well…A grain is a seed. If you look to the diagram to the diagram to the left you will see the three basic components a seed is made up of: bran (outer), endosperm (inner), and the germ (core/main body/embryo).
The bran is a tough and fiber rich outer skin made up of several layers that protects the other two layers. It is made up of fiber, antioxidants, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, B vitamins, and phytonutrients.
- The endosperm is like amniotic fluid, it provides food (B vitamins, vitamin E, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and unsaturated fats) to the germ.
- The germ is fertilized by pollen and like an embryo sprouts into a new plant. The germ contains vitamins, oils, proteins and is especially high in essential fatty acids, vitamin E, B-complex, and trace minerals.
When a grain is processed by milling or refining the nutrients described above are depleted. When bread is made the bran and the germ is discarded to avoid density and spoiling. This is how the nutrients are depleted. Just as the bread goes through this malnutrition process.
You should consider the process that a product goes through prior to consuming it because ultimately your body will have to endure the same. Being as though you now know that the germ is removed to avoid spoiling you should consider the shelf life. Do packaging. Look for the actual word “WHOLE” before the word grain.