Our Better Stuff

WHOLE GRAINS FOR LIFE

It’s easy to forget that September is Whole Grains month when there’s so much going on with back to school. But healthy lunch ideas for my children have been on my mind a lot, so I thought it only suiting to write about Whole Grains month. I’d like to pose this question: How many of you really understand why whole grains are so important? Do you know what they mean to your health? Understanding what and why may further your commitment to consuming more of the abundant variety of grains available.

So, what is a whole grain? According to the Whole Grains Council, whole grains are those that contain all the essential parts and naturally occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed in their original proportions. By definition, 100% of the original kernel must be present to qualify as a whole grain.

These grains, when processed, lose valuable parts, thereby making them less healthy. If kept whole, these grains are higher in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Sprouted whole grains are even more magnificent, as sprouting unlocks nutrients that are easier to absorb, so your body benefits from as much of the good stuff as possible. Way Better Snacks has done a phenomenal job of perfecting this process that offers superior nutrition…and their chips don’t taste too bad either!

But the real question lies not in how whole grains are better, but rather, what does their nutritional value do for you. Well, try these health benefits on for size:
• Stroke risk reduced 30-36%
• Type 2 diabetes risk reduced 21-30%
• Heart disease risk reduced 25-28%
• Better weight maintenance
• Reduced risk of asthma
• Healthier arteries
• Healthier blood pressure levels
• Less gum disease and tooth loss
• Whole Grains Council (http://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/what-are-the-health-benefits)
Now that’s some list! As a mom always trying to instill good eating habits to my children, this is a no-brainer. It’s no wonder an entire “council” was created around whole grains. They carry an amazing organic flavor; they’re really good for our bodies; and most importantly, it’s possible to create endless enticing recipes with whole grains! Now that I have your interest, try out this Real Simple recipe with your family, then sit back and enjoy the applause!