Man as we see today, has undergone various difficult ordeals during these thousands of years in all his habits. His way of living, eating, clothing, thinking, dwelling etc, have been enormously changed.
Since we are concerned with his eating ways, let us discuss only on this. In the beginning of the civilization, man was depending on his daily hunt of animals and on the flesh he lived. Hundreds of years passed like this without any marked change in the eating habit. Then, luckily some strange ideas of growing the grains to substitute his flesh food came to the early man. He experimentally scratched a bit of land and sowed some seeds. This experiment was a success, and the yield which he had from the crop, helped him to ease the tiresome hunting. It is believed that barley was the first seed which the man grew as the food grain. As years passed, the great change began to take the turning point in the food habits of man and the cultivation of the food grains became prominent.
Today, the food grains or the cereals like barley, maize, millets, oats, ragi, rice, rye, wheat etc., are extensively grown all over the world and they form 70 percent of the major portion supply of our daily food.
These food grains are grown in different parts of the world according to the growing capability depending on the climate influence on their cultivation.
Cereals are the cheapest source of starch which supply the heat and energy to the human body and form the major portion of the food. They are however not a complete food by themselves because, most of the cereals are covered with rough fibrous covering which should be removed and the grains are cooked before they are used as human body. In the first process, during dehusking, the valuable vitamin layer is scraped and the grain is left purely to supply carbohydrate. Then, during the cooking process, whatever little vitamins are left, will become useless due to constant heat. However, to compensate the heavy loss of the minerals and vitamins, plenty of fresh green leafy and non- leafy vegetables should be eaten along with the required cereals. In our country, malnutrition is due to this reason that majority of the people eat only some refined carbohydrates in the form of boiled rice, ragi, jowar etc., without sufficient proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals.
Why whole grains are essential?
We all know that we are supposed to eat more whole grains. We know they are good for us (full of fiber, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals).
After analyzing data from more than 15,000 people aged 45-65 years, researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health found that as whole grain intake went up, total mortality (the rate of death from all causes) went down.
Whole grain benefits go beyond nutrition. Foods made from whole grains can help you avoid weight gain. The outer coatings contain bran or fiber, which keeps you feeling full longer. And that same fiber helps your digestive system function well, helping you to be more comfortable.
Researches shown that eating a diet rich in whole grain helps prevent diabetes and that it has heart protective benefits as well. Refined grains in the diet don’t have these benefits, so whole grains are a smarter choice.
Whole grains also contains a powerful antioxidants and phytic acid. These may reduce blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol and triglyceride levels and thus it can be instrumental in reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes milletus and obesity. Dietary phytates appear to be taken up by the body’s cancer cells and are shown to inhibit the growth of a variety of cancer cells or phytates seem to fight only cancerous cells, leaving the normal cells intact. We conclude that whole grains contains fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals and these are beneficial in reducing various lifestyle disorders and helps to keep us healthy. So if you want to statistically reduce your risk of death from all causes by 15% just by making one dietary change. Choose whole grains whenever you can.
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