Benefits of Whole Grains
When considering the host of positive dietary changes one can make, putting priority on consuming whole grains is one alteration that can have significant effects. Immediate effects can vary based on the type of fiber one consumes via whole grains. Both soluble and insoluble fiber is obtained through eating whole grains, both of which contribute to greater control of blood sugar, lower cholesterol, and greater feelings of “fullness” after a meal, which can contribute to weight loss. Fiber also contributes to more regular bowel movements and the growth of good bacteria in the large intestine due to the presence of lactic acid.
In the long term, eating whole grains can help reduce the risk of a number of illnesses, including colon cancer and diverticulitis. Studies have also shown that individuals who eat whole grains on a lower basis, especially women, are at a significantly reduced risk for heart disease. For men, this also translates to a lower likelihood of hypertension. Additionally, some whole grains can provide vitamins and minerals not typically found in other grains, including vitamin C, calcium, and B vitamins; iron, magnesium, selenium, and zinc can also be found in various whole grains. Generally speaking, a diet that includes whole grains is more likely to be an all-around healthier diet; the implications of this are profound, ranging from reduced rates of inflammatory diseases to a greater distribution of fat in the body, to lower risks of medical complications during pregnancy.