best natural foods

Immediate benefits of whole grains

One of the chief benefits of whole grains is this - when you switch from refined grains like white rice and white bread, to a diet of whole grains like brown rice and wholemeal bread, you will feel better almost right away.

Within a week to 10 days, you will feel lighter, more energetic and so on. And if you ever suffered from constipation, you may even forget that there is such a thing called "constipation".

I speak from personal experience here. When I was young, I used to suffer badly from constipation. Yet I remember once, when I was giving a health talk on the benefits of whole grains and a macrobiotic diet, I totally forgot to mention constipation until someone in the audience asked.

As I write this, I try to think of the last time I suffered constipation and I really cannot remember. The only one time I can recall was in 1993 when, ironically, I was doing a macrobiotic course at the Kushi Institute in Becket, Massachusettes.

Maybe it was the stress of travel. Or perhaps the sudden switch to a much drier climate and I did not drink enough water to compensate. So there is no guarantee with regards whole grains preventing constipation. In any case, that was the last time I can recall suffering from the problem.

Having spent a month at the macrobiotic centre, I dare saw the benefits of whole grains, beans and vegetables can be seen even within a few days. At the Kushi Institute, there were one-week short courses for people with cancer and other serious illnesses. These people would arrive on a Sunday evening looking sick and miserable, but by Tuesday or Wednesday, you can already see that they look much better.

High fiber foods

The reason why the benefits of whole grains are so quickly - and strongly - felt is because whole grains are high fiber foods and they provide dietary fiber that people severely lack.

Besdies preventing constipation, the role of fiber in regulating bowel movements means that body toxins are more thoroughly eliminated. Dietary fiber itself absorbs body toxins and regular bowel movements ensure that such toxins do not remain in the body for too long.

Fiber also maintains the health of the colon and help prevent Normalizes bowel movements. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it. A bulky stool is easier to pass, decreasing your chance of constipation. If you have loose, watery stools, fiber may also help to solidify the stool because it absorbs water and adds bulk to stool. For some, fiber may provide relief from irritable bowel syndrome.
hemorrhoids as well as diverticular disease, where small pouches form in the colon. Other benefits of whole grains arise from their content of soluble fiber. These include lowering blood cholesterol and controlling blood sugar levels.

Click here for a fuller discussion about the benefits of high fiber foods.

B complex vitamins

The benefits of whole grains also arise from their rich content of B complex vitamins, many of which also tend to be lacking in the modern diet due to the refining of grains. Among the more common B complex vitamins, vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6 and B9 are relatively abundant in whole grains.

The importance of B complex vitamins is a huge topic. But generally, they support:

B vitamins also protect against pancreatic cancer, which is considered one of the most lethal forms of cancer. Interestingly, this protective role comes only from taking B vitamins from food and not from vitamin supplements. Thus, the benefits of whole grains in providing B vitamins cannot be replaced by taking vitamin pills!

Good oils

The skin of whole grains, which contain fiber, also contains good quality natural oils.

Rice bran oil, which is extracted from the bran or skin of brown rice, is considered by some people to be one of the healthiest cooking oils. It is high in monounsaturated fats (about 47 percent), with the remaining oils made up of polyunsaturated fats (33 percent) and saturated fats (20 percent).

Another healthy oil derived from whole grains is wheat germ oil, which is a very rich source of the anti-oxidant, Vitamin E.

The presence of oils in whole grains, however, also means that whole grains will turn rancid if stored too long, especially when exposed to heat and light. To fully enjoy the benefits of whole grains, make sure that the grains you buy have a nice, fresh aroma and no rancid smells.

More benefits of whole grains

A lot more can be said about why whole grains are good for health. Click below to learn more about"

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Cooking oils
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Diet plans (13 articles)
Fiber (3 articles)
Fish (3 articles)
Grains (17 articles)
Pasta (10 articles)
Pasta recipes
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Salt (11 articles)
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Soy products
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Vegetables (1 article)
Water (6 articles)
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