Nutrition Education

Wheat's Role in a Nutritious Diet

In the past, whole grains were thought to provide nothing more than fiber. However, new research reveals that whole grains offer vitamins and minerals, plus high levels of antioxidants and other healthy plant-based nutrients.

Whole grains contain protective antioxidants in amounts near or exceeding those in fruits and vegetables. They also provide some unique antioxidants not found in other foods. Corn, for example, has almost twice the antioxidant activity of apples. Wheat and oats almost equal broccoli and spinach in antioxidant activity. Research continues to turn up new evidence on the benefits of whole grains. We’ve known for years that the fiber in whole grain helps promote digestive health. More recently, studies have shown that eating more whole grains may help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Studies published in 2005 and 2006 show that whole grains may lower triglycerides, improve insulin control, help with weight management, and slow the buildup of arterial plaque.

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