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Everything you need to know about whole grains

What is a whole grain?

A whole grain has all three parts of the grain—and all of the nutrients they contain.

A whole grain is made up of three parts: the bran, the endosperm, and the germ. Bran is the outer shell and contains phytochemicals, B vitamins, and fiber. The endosperm is an inner layer that contains proteins, carbohydrates, and B vitamins, and the germ is the inner core, which contains more B vitamins, vitamin E, unsaturated fat, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. Grains are “whole” when they have all three parts and all their nutrients, even after processing (whereas some refined foods strip parts of the grain and decrease the nutrition it contains).

References

  1. Whole Grains Council
  2. U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
  3. American Academy of Pediatrics. Whole Grains.

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