12 Surprising Health Benefits of Wheat

by Isabel | June 3, 2018

Because of its abundant health advantages, wheat is probably the most common cereal all over the globe and is in even higher demand in the past few years. It has proved itself to be one of the most sustainable and successful cereal crops in the whole world over the years. It is presently grown in countless countries, but it originated in southwestern Asia. Cultivation of wheat is commonly done at higher latitudes and is used for baking bread.

Bread, muffins, cakes, bagels, crackers, and pasta are just some of the common examples of foods made of wheat. Wheat ensures a diet rich in nutrients, and it is believed to be one of the most wholesome food items.

Wheat is extremely beneficial for healthy living, proven by researchers. Owing to its comparatively low-fat content, it considerably lowers the risk of heart diseases. It helps diabetic patients in regulating blood glucose levels.

All the parts of the grain kernel, including endosperm, bran, and germ, can provide an immense energy source. Even after processing into flour, the nutrient value of wheat is retained. But it is still advisable to choose those products that are made from whole-wheat flour rather than the refined varieties if you want to get the maximum benefit out of the wheat products.

Varieties of Wheat

Wheat has numerous health benefits that you can get depending on which form you are going to consume. The advantages of wheat are lessened if you eat bleached white flour which is acquired by processing after only 60 percent extraction from the grain; while whole wheat is highly nutritious. Most wheat products in the United States undergo 60 percent extraction, which you can see in bread, pasta, and noodles, as well as in baked goods like cookies, rolls, and biscuits. Almost 40 percent of the original wheat grain in these foods are removed, and you only get the remaining 60 percent. The outer brown layer, which is usually the 40 percent removed, has the extremely nutritious bran and the wheat grain’s germ. More than half of the fiber, iron, zinc, copper, folic acid, phosphorous, calcium, vitamin E, vitamin B3, vitamin B2 and vitamin B1 are lost in the process of making 60 percent abstraction flour. But if you purchase the products that are 100% whole wheat, you are guaranteed of all the nutrients of the germ and the bran, as well as the endosperm.

The consumers recognize the nutritional value of whole wheat in recent years. Around the world, especially in the Mediterranean, low-carb diets and an increase in the whole wheat cereal market are prevalent. Wheat germ is a perfect source of nutrients, just like whole wheat. Particularly rich in vitamin E, wheat germ has an abundance of minerals and vitamins. In dietary structures throughout the world, it is a popular source of vitamin B complex and includes minerals like zinc, manganese and magnesium and vitamins like vitamin B6, thiamin, and folic acid. The oil of wheat germ increase lifespan and enhances strength.

Wheat: Nutritional Value

Wheat is high in vitamin E, vitamin B, copper, iodine, zinc, manganese, silicon, arsenic, chlorine, sulfur, potassium, magnesium, calcium, mineral salts and catalytic elements. Its abundance of nutrients is the reason why it is frequently utilized as a cultural foundation or base of nourishment. Conditions like breast cancer, breastfeeding problems, pregnancy problems, tuberculosis, asthenia, obesity, chronic inflammation, gallstones, mineral deficiencies and anemia are rapidly improved by eating whole wheat. And because the wheat has 2 or 3 times more vitamin B than the common one, the seeds are also used to treat cardiovascular ailments, respiratory illnesses, skin diseases, and gastrointestinal conditions. It is also beneficial in protecting the heart and balancing levels of cholesterol.

How to Cook Wheat

Wheat can be consumed in countless ways, some of the easiest and tasty ones are in the form of bread and sandwiches. Wheat flakes for breakfast are an appetizing and delicious choice for your morning meal, and you can also mix sprouted wheat berries in vegetables and other kinds of grain salads. For your pizza crust, choose a whole wheat pita and if you love pasta, make sure to opt for the whole wheat pasta. You can find it in different forms like penne, spaghettis, and spirals. In India, they consume wheat in the form of bread called chapatti or roti.

Wheat: Health Benefits

Prevents Heart Attack: Heart failure is the main cause of hospitalization and death for older adults in the United States. In certain cases, the medicinal drugs have been successful, but natural treatments work much faster and have less impact on the systems of the rest of the body. Beta-blockers and Ace inhibitors are used in hospitals, but the long-term effects are not yet clear. Dietary fiber and whole grain products have been observed to considerably lower levels of blood pressure, therefore checking the possibility of a heart attack. Confounding factors like proper nutrition, exercise, smoking, alcohol consumption, and age are important. Plenty of vegetables, fruits, and vitamin are also necessary in such cases. With a daily bowl of whole grain cereal, the start of your day can be both tasty and healthy. There are different forms in which you can serve wheat like puddings, bread, and other numerous baked goods.

Improves Cardiovascular System in Menopausal Women: To avoid any cardiovascular issues, whole wheat is supposed to be the main element in the diet of postmenopausal women. The best way to avoid such ailments is by taking whole grain cereal daily. Women who are suffering from conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and other signs of cardiovascular diseases are advised by doctors to have a high wheat diet. Based on a survey, this type of diet slows down the progression of atherosclerosis, which is the building of plaque in the blood vessels and the arteries, as well as decreasing heart attacks and strokes’ frequency.

Protection Against Coronary Diseases: Whole wheat is rich in a type of phytonutrient called plant lignans. In human intestines, these lignans are converted by responsive flora into mammalian lignans. One of these lignans is called enterolactone, which prevents breast and other hormone-dependent cancers including heart disease. Wheat is not the only source of lignans; berries, nuts, and seeds are also good sources of plant lignans, as well as other types of fruits, vegetables, and beverages such as wine, coffee, and tea. Published in a recent article in a Danish Journal, women who eat plenty of whole grains were discovered to have considerably higher blood levels of plant lignans.

Prevents Childhood Asthma: Around 20 million of Americans experience some form of asthma, based on The American Lung Association. It was stated in studies that fish and whole grains in the diet could reduce the chances of childhood asthma to a high extent. Proved through numerous studies by The International Study on Allergy and Asthma in Childhood that a wheat-based diet can reduce chances of developing by almost 50 percent. During the survey, the wheat diet was considerably increased, and the mothers were provided special diets rich in whole grains and fish; this showed an almost 66 percent reduction in the possibility of becoming asthmatic.

The key factor that encourages asthma is the bronchial hyper-responsiveness. This condition is characterized by increased sensitivity and the narrowing of airways. It has been seen in many surveys that children who consume high amounts of fish and wheat do not suffer from such conditions. The vitamin E and magnesium provided by wheat also helps in decreasing asthma problems. But in some cases, consuming wheat may be dangerous for patients with asthma, since wheat also happens to be a food allergen closely related with asthma. Consult a physician who can administer a complete diagnosis and examination of possible allergies you may have.

Protection Against Breast Cancer: UK Women’s Cohort Study did a research and found out that a fiber-rich diet is very much necessary for women to keep breast cancer at bay. Whole grain foods like fruits and wheat offer significant safeguards for pre-menopausal women against breast cancer. It is proved by studies that around 30 grams of wheat consumed daily is enough for women to lower breast cancer risks. It is also said in reports that pre-menopausal women who have consumed wheat had a 41 percent reduced chances of having breast cancer in comparison to other people who ate other types of fiber.

Promotes Women’s Gastrointestinal Health: Wheat bran has bountiful benefits, and promoting the overall health of women is yet another significant role of this cereal variety. Particularly in women, wheat acts as anti-carcinogenic. Wheat bran regulates the metabolic rate of estrogen, which often results in breast cancer if left in an excessive level. Women in a group of twenty to fifty participated in a survey, and they showed decreased blood estrogen levels by almost 17 percent in about two months, while the other group of women eating corn bran did not show this result.

Wheat has phytonutrients acting as hormone-like substances which are called lignans. These lignans sometimes occupy the body’s hormone receptors, therefore diminishing certain risk factors of breast cancer. This successfully checks the high circulating levels of estrogen. Wheat heightens the metabolic rate of the production of estrogen and protects women against this key factor of cancer. Wheat bran lessens the secretion of bile acid and bacterial enzymes in the stool, therefore reducing the chances of colon cancer. These ailments will be avoided if you include bran cereals, pasta, and bread in your daily diet.

Assures Healthy Lifestyle: Wheat is the most well-known and easily accessible bulk laxative. Consuming three cups of wheat per day is enough for an individual to live a life that is healthy, long and disease-free. You can be sure that problems such as pain, distension, flatulence, constipation, and nausea will be alleviated in no time if you maintain a fiber-rich diet comprised of cereals and wheat bread that are rich in bran. Due to lower intestinal pains and inflammation, diverticulitis often occurs. This can lead to unnecessary straining and chronic constipation, which can result in a pouch or a sac in the colon’s wall. Such cases can easily be dealt with naturally by keeping up with a diet rich in fiber and including whole grain wheat on a regular basis.

Prevents Gallstones: The American Journal of Gastroenterology did various surveys which proved that cereals and bread made from whole wheat help women to avoid gallstones. It assures a smooth and quick intestinal transit time, and secretion of bile acids since whole wheat is rich in insoluble fiber. Gallstone formation is caused majorly by excessive acids. Furthermore, a high wheat intake increases sensitivity and thereby reduces fat and triglycerides in the blood. Other than wheat, you can also obtain insoluble fiber from the edible skins of fruits and vegetables like pears, apples, berries, squash, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Beans are also a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber.

Reduces Chronic Inflammation: Wheat has a betaine content which is beneficial in preventing chronic inflammation. Betaine is normally found in spinach, beets and whole wheat. In most types of rheumatic pains as well as other rheumatic diseases, inflammation is the key constituent. That’s why it is a good idea to consume a healthy amount of wheat food products that will actively lessen inflammation. Consuming betaine can affect some aspects of our body chemistry that guarantee a lower risk of chronic inflammation and other conditions like type-2 diabetes, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and osteoporosis.

Prevents Type-2 Diabetes: Wheat has high amounts of magnesium, a mineral that serves as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes. These specific enzymes are involved in the functional use of insulin and glucose secretion in the body. The FDA allows foods that contain whole grain with at least 51 percent weight and are also low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Meaning, a lower risk of coronary diseases and certain types of cancer. Furthermore, consuming whole wheat regularly promotes healthy control of blood sugar. People who have diabetes can maintain their sugar levels under control by replacing rice with wheat in their diet.

Improves Body Metabolism: Trans-fat and saturated fat increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, while omega-3 fats reduce cardiovascular diseases risk. Whole grains such as wheat are highly effective in patients with metabolic disorders. Common types of metabolic disorders are high blood pressure, low levels of protective HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, and visceral obesity, also known as “pear shaped” body. It prevents all of these conditions. Foods made from refined grains not only tend to increase weight but they also raise the hazards of insulin resistance, shown in research. Physicians recommend consuming fiber-rich foods and whole wheat bread. Most of the fiber works to aid the digestive process in the body and enhance the overall metabolism. Having a whole wheat diet is possibly the quickest, most effective and enjoyable way to decrease metabolic syndrome, but also to stay healthy and slim throughout your life.

Control Obesity (Mostly in Women): Wheat has a natural capability to manage weight in everyone, but this ability is more prevalent in women. Through research, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that whole wheat, rather than refined form, is a good choice for patients who are obese. Women who ate whole wheat products over long periods of time showed considerably more weight loss than the other subjects.

Wheat’s health benefits are no longer unknown, and people throughout the world have experienced them by adding wheat in their everyday diet. This “health food” reputation is because of the important B vitamins like vitamin B6, thiamine and folate, and the minerals such as manganese, zinc, and magnesium. Wheat can easily be integrated into pancakes, patties, muffins, bread, waffles, brownies, burritos and cakes. You can also simply sprinkle wheat over your favorite yogurt or cereal.

Few Reminders:

Consuming wheat also has some limitations. Whole wheat consumption can improve allergies such as eczema, skin rash, itching, and hives if you are susceptible to allergic reactions. It is always good to ask for advice from your doctor to be sure that you are not allergic. Oxalates are also found in whole wheat, which are naturally occurring compounds in human beings, animals, and plants. Too much of these oxalates in bodily fluids can result to crystallization, therefore triggering health conditions like gout, kidney stones, and gallstones.

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