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May 6, 2014

Nutritional aspects of grain and corn

by Helene van den Berg

Whole grains (free of chemical fertilizers and sprays and unrefined) contain all of the B vitamins, vitamin E, unsaturated fatty acids and good quality proteins. It is also a very important staple food for vegetarians. With refined grains most of these nutrients are removed – all that is left, is a dead kernel. Refined grains, robbed of the minerals and vitamins found in the discarded outer layers, strain the digestion process. Even in enriched foods, only two or three B vitamins and iron are replaced; the remaining eight vitamin B’s, minerals and proteins are refined out. Whole grains are prepared for eating through sprouting, soaking and cooking until tender.

• QUINOA – a “pseudocereal” grain crop grown for it’s seeds is very rich in nutrients and fiber. It overcomes the nutritional shortcomings of grains i.t.o. a source of protein (amino acids, lysine and isoleucine) and fat content. Quinoa has significantly greater amounts of lysine and isoleucine; therefore it is a complete protein source. In comparison to cereal grasses like wheat, quinoa is higher in fat content and provides heart-healthy monounsaturated fat (oleic acid) and small amounts of omega–3 fatty acids (ALA). The antioxidants in Quinoa, especially the tocopherols (vitamin E family), protects Quinoa from oxidation. It also contains anti-inflammatory phytonutrients (saponins, phenolic acids, gamma-tocopherol). It is rich in minerals like manganese, phosphorus, copper , magnesium, fiber, folate and zinc. The high concentration of antioxidant flavonoids, quercetin and kaempferol, it’s anti-inflammatory properties and it’s overall nutrient benefits, makes Quinoa unique among grain-related foods.

• BUCKWHEAT – is not a true grain, but a grass seed related to rhubarb. The whole, hulled, unroasted white buckwheat grains are the most nutritious – the brown roasted ones are less nutritious. It is unlikely to be sprayed (stops bees from pollinating) or fertilized (too much leaf growth). It cooks quickly – simmer for 15–20 minutes. Sprouted buckwheat is very high in bioflavonoid rutin (stops bleeding).

• CORN – yellow cornmeal contains about 10% protein and is higher in vitamin A than the white variety. The germ of cornmeal deteriorates in a matter of hours – so it is best to grind your own meal as you use it.

• MILLET – it is the only grain that forms alkaline – therefore it is the most easily digested. It is an intestinal lubricant. It is a low-gluten protein. It is high in calcium, riboflavin and lecithin.

• OATS – Must be hulled before eaten. Rolled oats, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes will swell adequate for digestion. It is a nourishing breakfast (added honey, almonds and chia seeds) and good for the male system as a restorative.

• RICE – Brown, whole- grain rice is very nutritious compared to white rice, with all it’s nutrition removed.
NOTE: Be careful about the source of brown rice – it is the most heavily chemicalized food crop!!. Chemicals accumulate in the husk of the rice and causes allergic reactions to brown rice. Long grain organic Jasmine rice is the best if a person can’t digest brown rice.

• RYE – Sprouted rye is rich in vitamin E, phosphorus, magnesium and silicon.
NOTE: rye sprouts sweeten as they lengthen, because the natural starches turn to sugar.

• WHOLE WHEAT – It is the most important grain, because of it’s versatility and high nutritive qualities. It contains 6–20% protein, vitamin E and large amounts of nitrates. The outer layer (bran) contains lysine (amino acid), half of the B vitamins and zinc, copper and iodine.

The central, white endosperm contains most of the protein and starch. The germ at the base of the kernel, contains some B vitamins, trace minerals, vitamin E and unsaturated fatty acids. The wheat sprout is highly nutritious; wheat grass contains chlorophyll.
White flour is purely endosperm, with a loss of 80% of the essential nutrients of wheat. It also may be bleached by chlorine dioxide, which destroys the vitamin E.

“Enriched” flours have 4 of the nutrients (thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and iron) replaced and has not been bleached. Soft- wheat pastry flour in any recipe, is a more superior nutritious choice, than white flour. Whole-grain flours can turn rancid (unsaturated fats exposed to oxygen in the air) – vitamin E preserves it, but only for three months.


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