Staying healthy and energized should be one of the topmost priorities of every person. It contributed to his personal development as an individual. His physical, emotional, intellectual, and psychosocial well-being becomes better if he’s healthy, energized, and positive. Being healthy does not only affect the individual self, but also contributes to the condition of the people around him. Having a healthy and energized lifestyles, combined with a positive outlook, is a factor that makes a social environment more productive and friendly.
One way to keeping your body healthy is by eating a well-balanced diet of foods that provide energy, help build the body, and maintain vital chemical levels. The best meal you can have should be complete with foods that are rich in carbohydrates, protein, and vitamins and minerals. Having a balanced diet of all of these stabilizes the condition of your body through supplying it with all the right nutrients.
Foods that are rich in carbohydrates include rice, bread, potatoes, and other starchy sustenance. Meat, seafood, poultry, and soy products are protein-rich foods. Vitamins and mineral can be absorbed through eating fruits and vegetables.
A good way to supply your body’s balanced-diet needs is to eat foods that have carbs, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. One of these foods is bread. It is one of the most popular and staple food in many parts of the world. Because of this, many people have failed to realize the health benefits that it offers. The beneficial content of bread varies according to the type of bread you eat.
The Different Types of Bread
There are many types of bread. One way to categorize bread is through its volume. There are bread with high volume or those that rise higher, bread with medium volume, and bread that barely rise or flatbreads. Your bread dough rises depending on the amount of yeast you put in it.
Another way to classify bread is through determining the forms of grains used. The types of bread grouped in this manner are flour, meal, flakes, grits, pearls, bran, whole, and germ.
Flour is a form of grains that are grinded and sifted in order to achieve the desire texture. It can be very fine and soft to slightly coarse. A coarser and sandier feel is attributed to the form of grain that is called meal. Grains that are softened by steaming and rolled so that it can cook faster are called flakes. Grits are grains that are chopped to tinier pieces. Grains that are polished through the removal of bran layers, making the kernel less fibrous, are called pearled grains. On the other hand, the bran layers that are removed are sold separately to give you the option to use it. Whole grains are the most nutritious of all forms of grains. Only the hulls of the kernels re removed, but this makes whole grains take longer to cook. The embryo of the kernel, or the germ, can also be removed and sold separately. It is the part that contains most nutrients.
The Benefits of Whole Wheat Grains
The three most popular and important grain crops are rice, corn and, wheat. These grain crops can be made into bread. Although some prefer rice, corn, and other type of grains in their bread, the arguably most popular type is wheat. Whole wheat grain breads are made with all of the parts of the grain. This includes the bran, germ, and endosperm of the grain.
The nutrients found in whole wheat grain are the most beneficial as it is the most packed with many vitamins and minerals. The fiber from the kernels’ bran helps improve your bowel movements by make your stool soft and increasing its mass. It cleanses your digestive system significantly. Whole grains also give you phytochemicals and antioxidants, and helps maintain the good condition of your heart. It contains Vitamins B and E, as well as phosphorous, zinc, and iron. These help take care of your mental health.
The Other Side of Wheat Germs
Wheat germs contain vital nutrients such as Vitamin E, Folic Acid, Magnesium, Thiamine, Phosphorous, and Zinc. It is also rich in fiber and has healthy fats that help in digestion and heart health, respectively. However, the good it gives is cancelled out by the other components it has.
Even if whole wheat grain is generally good for you, there are reasons in which you need to stay clear from whole wheat grains. One reason is if you have Celiac disease and wheat allergies. Celiac disease is the state of gluten intolerance of the body. Wheat germ is very rich in gluten, and using medium to large amounts of wheat germ triggers allergies, and other reactions of the body related to intolerance. This gives you the need to search for a wheat germ substitute.
Wheat germ also contains a certain lectin, which is called wheat germ agglutinin or WGA. This lectin acts as a natural pesticide that protects wheat stalks from pests. However, WGA is not as beneficial to humans as it is in wheat stalks. This lectin acts as the plant’s immune system. It is designed to wave off insects, fungi, and animals that try to eat the plant by dismantling the cell walls and disrupting the tissues.
Other Ingredients that can act as a Wheat Germ Substitute
You have to keep in mind that wheat germ is used in baking as a flavor enhancer, an essential baking element, or and a nutritional source.
Flax seed can be used as a wheat germ substitute because of its nutritional value. It has fiber, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and iron. Having less fat than wheat germ is a bonus. Ground or turned flax seeds also have the similar consistency as wheat germ. As a bonus, for people who like chewy bread, flax seeds make your bread slightly chewier. It is also a great alternative for homemade recipes such as granola, or meatloaf. Dietary fiber is also contained in oat bran, making it a very good wheat germ substitute.
You can also put sunflower seeds to your bread dough. Although sunflower seeds have fewer carbohydrates than wheat germ, it has more or less the same amount of protein. It also has fats that are good for the heart, called polyunsaturated fat.
In terms of taste, wheat germ can also be substituted with other grains and flavors with more or less the same taste. Some people love wheat germ because of its faintly nutty flavor. For people who love the taste of wheat germ, wheat bran is the closest substitute for it, along with rice bran and oat bran. Oat bran is an excellent wheat germ substitute. It is the outer shell of oat grains, has similar texture as wheat germ, and contains the same nutrients. In addition, it has calcium, riboflavin, and folate. You can also achieve the same crunchy effect off wheat germ by using oat bran.
If you do not want to use other grains as wheat germ substitute, you can make use of ground nuts and seeds. It closely resembles the nutty flavor of wheat bread, while also providing vitamins and minerals that are essential to your body.
Having intolerance for gluten and other wheat products should not stop you from enjoying the flavor that you love, not to mention the nutritional contents wheat germ has. For the health conscious ones, you can take pleasure in the same goodness as wheat bran by using these appropriately flavored and nutritionally nourishing wheat germ substitutes.