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Nutritional Benefits of Whole Grain Wheat

by Lucette Skidmore(more info)

listed in nutrition, originally published in issue 104 - October 2004

Introduction

The benefits of eating whole grain wheat are widely acknowledged by scientists and nutritionists around the world.

Wheat is one of the oldest known foods that has survived for centuries and spread over many countries. The ancient Egyptians are well known for having cultivated the wheat over three thousand years ago and for making wholemeal bread. It is not very surprising that they were also a healthy people, builders of pyramids.

Isn't it rather astonishing that the wheat products in our supermarket are mostly made out of bleached flour? With the growing health concern – obesity, heart disease, etc – some food manufacturers have tried to remedy the problem by providing us with more whole grain food such as cereals and wholemeal bread.

However most Britons still do not know exactly what whole grain food is and the main problem is really where to go to find it.

There is no need to rely only on the bread and cereals. It is now possible for everyone to make whole grain food and gain back control of their health.

 

stuffed pepper

stuffed pepper                         

Wheat Facts

Most wheat products available in our supermarkets contain bleached flour or white flour, as we call it. Although they look good and taste good and therefore attract more customers, they have been deprived of the best nutrients of the whole grain wheat. The whole grain wheat is very rich in nutrients. To be able to profit from all these nutrients, it is necessary to use the whole grain. It has three main parts: the germ, the endosperm and the bran. Each part contains different nutrients. The germ, for example, is rich in vitamins and fibre. The endosperm is starchy and the bran provides the fibre. Bread is usually made with the endosperm to which artificial vitamins are added.

When eating whole grain wheat, we benefit from all the nutrients, vitamins, folic acid, iron, zinc and other minerals.

Because of these riches of the grain, scientists have associated it with better physical and mental health. Lately they have acknowledged that wholemeal bread can play an essential role in the prevention of obesity. They also say that eating whole grains lessens the risk of diabetes, that the wheat bran fibre protects against colon cancer and that people who eat more whole grains have a lower risk of heart diseases.

Another scientific research shows that a high fibre diet helps reduce tiredness, helps us to feel better and improves our energy level. Professor Andrew Smith of Cardiff University who conducted the study commented: "The benefits of a high fibre diet have been widely acknowledged amongst health care professionals for many years, however this is the first time high fibre intake has been associated with improved mental health".

The whole grain wheat is also said to have favourable effects on the skin, the vision and fertility.

A Healthy Diet

'Eat whole grain, live longer' is one of the latest slogans. Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet can help us to feel better and live longer.

After experiencing the difficulties of cooking and eating whole grains of wheat, the author found how to turn the wheat grains into wheat strands. The product she obtained is an ingredient in each of the recipes of her book, Wheat dishes de Savor. She is now preparing to make this produce available on the market under the trademark 'de Savor'. With this new component, 'de Savor wheat', she uses other ingredients that are familiar to everyone.

By using the 'de Savor wheat', all the nutrients found in the whole grain wheat have been preserved, the germ, the bran, vitamins and minerals. The 'de Savor wheat' is also very versatile. It can be incorporated in many ingredients to make a new recipe.

Almost all the recipes are low in fat to help look after the waistline and to give a better chance for physical exercises to work.

A high fibre meal gives the sensation of being quickly full and satisfied. It prevents us from having a second helping and allows us to resist the frequent snacks and sweet drinks, which are usually high in calories. The fibre, as we now know, is an essential part of a healthy diet.

Weight Control

The whole grain wheat is very low in fat. A regular diet with whole grain wheat associated with physical exercises can have good effects on weight control. Wheat fibre slows the digestive process and decreases the absorption of fat by the body from the food. It makes us feel full which reduces the need for larger portions. The fibre cleans the digestive tract thereby reducing the amount of toxins and contributing to a better absorption of the nutrients by the body.

Obesity is on the increase in the UK. At the present time, more than half the women and two thirds of men are either obese or overweight. Many people have to turn to surgery to reduce the capacity of their stomach. Obesity or being overweight increases the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. A healthy diet with whole grains is a step in the right direction. A better way to lose weight is to change one's diet or eating habits rather than to do small diets from time to time with the purpose of losing weight only.

Wheat Allergy

It is not recommended that people who are intolerant to wheat try the Wheat dishes de Savor recipes. A health practitioner should deal with wheat allergy or wheat intolerance, whether the allergy is manifested with products containing white flour or with products containing whole grain wheat.

The Book

Putting her knowledge of food nutrition and her cooking training together, the author created some delicious wheat dishes. The book contains thirty-one recipes and there are still more to come. They are all the results of her experiments and more than half of them are suitable for vegetarians. There are some recipes to prepare for breakfast, some for lunch, some for dinner and some for desserts. A coloured photograph gives a good idea of each recipe.

Further Information

The book, Wheat dishes de Savor by Lucette Skidmore, can be ordered from Gardners Books, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN23 6WQH Tel: 01323 521555 and costs £4.95. The ISBN number is 0-9545889-0-8. Alternatively send your order with a cheque payable to Marquise Publishing to: Marquise Publishing, PO Box 11365, Solihull B90 2YY, England, UK. For UK residents, add £1.00 for P&P and 50p for each additional book. For international P&P e-mail: inquiry@wheatdishes-desavor.com.

Until the 'de Savor wheat' is available to buy in the shops, it is necessary to have a mill to process it. The recommended one can be purchased at: Northern Tools, Unit 2, Interchange Park, Keel Close, Portsmouth, Hants, P03 5QD, Tel: 023-9265 7600. The price is in the range of £18.00 to £20.00. Visit the website: www.wheatdishes-desavor.com for further information.

Comments:

  1. Bill Ross said..

    People looking at WHOLE GRAIN breakfast cereals on supermarket shelves in the UK may be in for a shock.

    UK leglislation allows ceeals to be labelled whole grain when they infact only need contain 51% which can be flour!

    Sadly many of these cereals have packaging aimed to appeal to children.


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About Lucette Skidmore

Lucette Skidmore studied food nutrition at college. Although she changed direction, she continued her interest in nutrition and has been reading books on the topic ever since. She enjoys improving her skills and as part of this, she received cookery training some years ago. She can be contacted on Tel: 0121-244 3322, Fax: 44 (0)121 744 8923; lmsdesavor@btopenworld.com www.wheatdishes-desavor.com

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