Sunday, March 30, 2008

Benefits of Whole Grains

Isn't it beautiful? I received my new order of grain today. Montana Wheat is chemical-free wheat that I purchase through a local family-owned distributor twice a year. I grind my own grain with a Vitamix, as I mentioned here. I would love to be baking all my family's bread, but haven't been able to get myself on a schedule yet to accomplish that. I do use fresh-milled flour in most of what I bake. Why choose whole grains? And why mill my own? The health benefits it offers my family.

From The Urban Homemaker: A Diagram of a kernel of wheat is depicted here. The bran layers contain B-Vitamins and fiber and account for about 15% of the grain by weight. The germ contains Vitamin E which is an anti-oxidant. The Endosperm is the starch and about 80% of the grain. The wheat kernel, sometimes called the wheat berry, is the seed from which the wheat plant grows. Each tiny seed contains three distinct parts that are separated during the milling process to produce flour. The kernel of wheat is a storehouse of nutrients essential to the human diet.


..about 83 percent of the kernel weight. It is the source of white flour. The endosperm contains the greatest share of the protein in the whole kernel, carbohydrates, iron as well as many B-complex vitamins, such as riboflavin, niacin, and thiamine.


..about 14 1/2 percent of the kernel weight. Bran is included in whole wheat flour and is also available separately. Of the nutrients in whole wheat, the bran contains a small amount of protein, larger quantities of the B-complex vitamins listed above, trace minerals, and indigestible cellulose material also called dietary flour.


..about 2 1/2 percent of the kernel weight. The germ is the embryo or sprouting section of the seed, usually separated because of the fat that limits the keeping quality of flour. Of the nutrients in whole wheat, the germ contains minimal quantities of protein, but a greater share of B-complex vitamins and trace minerals. Wheat germ can be purchased separately and is included in whole wheat flour.

Refined flour looses between 48-98% of the many naturally occurring vitamins and minerals.
There are estimated to be 26 vitamins and minerals in a kernel of wheat.

Only Vitamins B-1, B-2, and B-3 and folic acid and iron are added to white flour in a synthetic
form and this is called enrichment.

This graphic depicts how we are being robbed of nutrients when we eat refined foods.

When you are purchasing bread from the store, look at the ingredients list. The first ingredient must say "whole wheat flour" in order to truly be 100% whole wheat bread. Many breads labeled "whole wheat," list the first ingredient as "enriched wheat flour," which means the wheat has had the nutrients processed out and had artificial vitamins dumped back in.

I use Marilyn's Whole Wheat Bread Recipe for most of the bread I bake.


Cindy L said...

Can I ask who you purchase your wheat from?
Cindy L.

Kim said...

I purchase it from Lynn Oatman. Her e-mail is: She is a homeschool Mom (her kids are adults now) who runs a business called Joyfully Yours. She does free breadmaking demonstrations, and sells grain mills, Bosch mixers, and everything else needed for breadmaking.

Donna said...

Great informative post!

I love wheat!

If you don't mind, may I link this post on my blog?
Thanks for the post!

Kim said...

Certainly! Feel free to link. And leave your blog addy here too!

Donna said...

I forgot to tell ya, I finally posted a link to this article.
You did such a good job and I have one lady from Cananda who is interested in grains and bread making! I think this will help her!