“Why bother eating whole grains anyway? White bread and white rice are so good. Whole wheat bread, brown rice and whole grain pasta can be so bitter and gritty, yuck! ”
That is the argument I hear often! Most people really want to eat white grains and still get the benefit of whole grains!
What is a Whole Grain?
The term “whole grain” means that all three parts of the grain (germ, bran and endosperm) are included. Refined, or “white” grains usually have the bran and germ removed, leaving only the starchy endosperm.
Whole-grain foods include wheat breads, rolls, pasta and cereals, oatmeal, popcorn, wild rice, corn tortillas, corn,
kasha (roasted buckwheat), couscous and tabouleh (bulghur wheat).
The bottom line on whole grains is that they are downright better for your health! They are better for your colon, your immune system, and reduce your risk for chronic disease.
Studies consistently find that whole grains are more protective than refined grains in the prevention of chronic disease. Evidence also shows that foods containing dietary fiber, like whole grains, can decrease your risk of developing colorectal cancer.
What’s in a Whole Grain?
What is in whole grains that are so good for you? Here is a short list of the nutrients that make whole grains so beneficial:
- trace minerals
They also include a variety of phytochemicals. Phytochemicals protect cells from the types of damage that may lead to cancer. The following are found in whole grains:
- phenolic acids
- phytic acid
Grains are also rich sources of oligosaccharides and resistant starch, carbohydrates that function like dietary fiber and enhance the intestinal environment to help improve immune function.
All the reasoning in the world is not going to make a whole grain taste like a white grain though! My advice to you is to slowly add whole grains in. You CAN change your taste buds so that you start to like the whole grains… it just takes time!
Try this recipe as a quick, easy and tasty way to include a whole grain this week!
Whole Grain Recipe: Spinach and Chicken Couscous:
This is a one dish meal! I made it last night and we very much enjoyed it!
Spinach and Chicken Couscous
Whole Grain Recipe: Spinach and Chicken Couscous
- 2 cups cooked (chopped chicken (I used leftover baked chicken that I had made the night before))
- 5 cups fresh spinach (mine was from the garden!)
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1 cup whole wheat couscous (most couscous is white grains, so make sure you find the whole grain)
- 1/2 cup sliced fresh basil
- Follow directions for cooking couscous.
- While couscous is cooking, spray a pan with cooking spray and cook chopped nuts in pan for 3-5 minutes until toasted
- Remove nuts from pan, add chicken and spinach, and cook until spinach is wilted (3-5 minutes)
- Add nuts, basil and couscous to chicken and spinach.
- Salt as needed, stir and serve!
I hope you enjoy it!
Great recipe, Julie! It was fantastic!
Sometimes I’ve found that cooking half-and-half whole grain to processed grain works well to acclimate tastebuds.
I barely notice whole grains!
Stephane Pecue says
It’s very simple. Don’t think of the idea of a diet, but think of it as a new life. Instead of eating foods high in sugars, white flour and saturated fat, go with fruits, vegetables, whole wheats, fish, lean meats, nuts and beans. In addition to eating less, you also need to exercise more. Start off at 1-2 times per week and work your way up to 3-5 times per week.