Wheat flour that we use regularly contains less nutritive value because the most important part of the wheat kernel is milled out while processing wheat. This milled out nutritious portion of wheat kernel contains wheat germ.
Wheat germ is removed during the wheat refining process because healthy oil can rancid fast. Removing wheat germ makes it easier to store wheat for longer. To get one pound of wheat germ food companies require about 50 pounds of wheat.
Wheat germ is an embryo portion of wheat and packed with good nutrients. Wheat germ provides multiple health benefits for those who chose to consume it. Two tablespoons of wheat germ provide recommended daily value of:
- 10% folate
- 8% Phosphorus, Zinc and Magnesium
- 15% Vitamin E
- 10% Thiamin
- 2 grams of dietary fiber
Wheat germ is a source of fiber, thiamine, folate, magnesium, zinc, and Vitamin E. It is also a source of Vitamin B complex that is present in very few plants. It is packed with plenty of protein and carbohydrates.
Wheat germ usually available in the form of powder. It has nutty and toasted taste. Those who want to incorporate wheat germ powder try mixing with cereals, cookies, veggie burgers, soup, muffins, smoothies, cornbread, oatmeal, fruit pies, ice cream, curry, pancakes, curd/yogurt, etc.
Health benefits of wheat germ:
- Cardiovascular health: Vitamin B, folate, and thiamin that are important for heart and the Vitamin B complex that are essential for our nervous system and brain are present in wheat germ.
- Blood sugar balance: Plenty of fiber present in wheat germ makes it ideal for sugar balance, cholesterol control, detoxification and digestive health. Wheat germ decreases pathogenic microbes in the gut.
- Cholesterol control: Wheat germ is a superfood when it comes to lowering LDL cholesterol. Phytosterol compounds are steroid compounds in wheat germ, it promotes good cholesterol and lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol. Studies have shown that removing phytosterols from wheat germs will not give the same effect. The presence of phytosterol helps in the absorption of cholesterol.
- Overall health: The presence of iron, magnesium, calcium, selenium, zinc and manganese minerals helps our body to repair and recover from illness. These major minerals are essential for chemical reactions in the system.
- Cancer and arthritis: Fermented wheat germ is recommended for rheumatoid arthritis which is an auto-immune condition. Wheat germ fermented using baker’s yeast will give concentrated active compound benzoquinones. Research studies show that the presence of this compound reduces the recurrence of cancer like melanoma and colon.
- Antioxidant: Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects brain cells and cell membranes from free radical damage. Free radicals contribute to plaque build-up in arteries that blocks the flow of blood. Vitamin E prevents this process and supports the body’s immune system, and helps to detoxify the liver, controls blood glucose which is critical for a diabetic condition.
- Omega 3 fatty acids: Heart and nervous system health depend on the fat we eat. Omega 3 fatty acids in wheat germ help to lower inflammation, lower cholesterol and improves mood. This helps to reduce lethargy, obesity and lowers anxiety.
Wheat germ oil:
- It contains all the above nutrients and rich in Vitamin E. Oil can be used for cleansing the face. Apply oil on skin helps to seal the moisture and removes sebum that is responsible for pimple, acne etc.
- It helps in building collagen which is present in the protein. Collagen is required for skin texture and health. It helps to heal cracked and scarred skin.
- Omega 3 fatty acid helps in nervous system function and reduces LDL cholesterol.
- Wheat germ oil also promotes hair health by nourishing hair follicles.
Wheat germ contains gluten. For those who suffer from gluten intolerance and suffer celiac disease, wheat germ is not a good choice. Otherwise, wheat germ is good nutritious food with many such health benefits.
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Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: June 19, 2020