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Food industry moving towards whole grains.

whole grain 2

Food industry moving towards whole grains.

A grain is called a whole grain if it contains the three parts of a seed the bran, germ, and endosperm. Whole grains are divided into two categories – cereals and pseudo cereals. Cereals include of cereal grasses like wheat, oats, corn, rice, sorghum, barley, millet, and rye. Pseudo cereal includes of non-grasses like amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat. Whole Grains are high in fibre, helping you feel complete and content; which makes it easy to maintain a healthy body weight. Whole grains are also associated to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancers, and other health problems.

Whole grains vs refined grains: Which is better for you?

Whether it is the different taste or a healthier choice, a lot of people have shifted to whole grains as a part of their daily diet. Whole grains, considered extremely healthy, are extensive and varied. Refined grains are stripped of nutrients and lack basic vitamins and minerals, which is considered very unhealthy to consume. Whole grains like: amaranth, buckwheat, broken wheat, barley, finger millet pearl millet, jowar or sorghum are some varieties that can be easily accessible.

Call it decision led by health concerns or just a change, whole grains are gradually regaining their lost appeal, credit for which goes to nutritionists and experts emphasizing on the need to eat wholesome and local foods which suit your health and climate. One can make simple recipes like homemade multigrain chapati, cheela, thalipeeth or creative recipes like Millet crackers or multigrain teacakes to satisfy cravings, said Mumbai-based Kangana Verma. Nagpur-based Sameer Ved enjoys Ragi dosa and Bajra dosa once in a few days. And then there is Sania Mehra, who swapped to gluten free whole grains as part of her daily diet & seen significant improvements in her gut health. Whole grains may taste a little different but are a welcome change, Shweta, who has, millets, barley and ragi, said.  Our ancestors always consumed whole grains like Pearl millet (bajra), sorghum millet (jowar), amaranth, ragi, foxtail, buckwheat etc, but over time, due to busy lifestyle, we have moved away from our roots and started consuming refined variations because, they have a better taste and texture.


Why is refined grains & refined flours harmful?

Bran, which is the outermost layer, is rich in fibre and an important B complex group of vitamins and minerals such as iron, folate, and magnesium. Many nutritionists mentioned how the bran, germ-contained fibre, essential vitamins, and minerals like vitamin, zinc, manganese, boron is required by our body for health and immunity. When these grains undergo refining, the fibre and nutrients are washed away. So, while a whole grain offers the benefit of fibre which is beneficial for our blood sugar levels, satiation factor, and lipids, refined varieties are stripped of everything. Foods like white rice and refined wheat have a high glycemic index i.e. GI ; the rate at which blood sugar levels rise after consuming food. High GI foods lead to an increase in insulin levels in the blood. Endlessly consuming white foods like white rice, sugar, and refined wheat flour can lead to insulin resistance type 2 diabetes in the long run. Also, the bleaching process that makes the colour white makes it harmful for the human gut. It has been proven that refined flour cannot keep you full for longer. It excites hunger and pushes you to binge more. Also, it has high carbohydrates that leads to weight gain and obesity.

Adverse effects of refined grains & flour

  • Weight gain and obesity
  • Hypertension
  • Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Food Addiction

How to incorporate whole grains into your diet    

You can incorporate whole grains into your diet in many ways. The simplest way to do is to swap whole-grain alternatives to refined grains in your diet. For instance, eating millet bread than refined flour bread, incorporating lentils in crepes & pancakes , if white pasta is a staple in your pantry, replace it with a 100% gluten free or other whole-grain pasta. Be sure to go through the ingredient list of packaged food to see if a product is made from whole grains.

Here are some ideas for adding whole grains to your diet:

  • Make a cooked porridge out of whole grains.
  • Sprinkle toasted whole grains on cereal, smoothie, or yogurt.
  • Snack on fox nuts or sprouts.
  • Make pancakes, cookies and breads with millet flours.
  • Use Millets in south Indian dishes like dosa or uttapam.
  • Swap out white rice with brown rice or for a different whole grain like quinoa or millet.
  • Make mung bean bhel using fresh vegetables.
  • Try using gluten free flours like millet, sprouts, green banana for crepes, chapatis, rotis etc.
  • Use millet flour or banana flour tortillas rather than refined flour tortillas & tacos.

Regularly eating whole grains may reduce your risk of many diseases. This is mainly true when they replace the refined grains in their diet. High-fibre foods like whole grains also significantly improve the digestive health, though people with gluten intolerance must avoid wheat, barley, and rye. For improved health and longevity, consider adding whole grains to your diet daily.

The good news is, we at NIHKAN have our premium gluten free products organically sourced, which are made from finest efficacy ancient grains, that are rich in all the needed essential vitamins, minerals, protein and fibre our products contain zero refined sugar and is sodium free, which one can incorporate in daily diet without compromising on the taste and health. We as a part of start up in food industry has taken an initiative to innovate in whole grains, making them easy and convenient for consumers to create different recipes in their daily diets.

Refer to our Youtube channel for recipes – NIHKAN Youtube channel

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