what are whole grains?

Do you know the difference between whole grains and refined grains? 

Refined grains have some important bits missing as they do not contain all parts of the grain. During the milling process, the bran and germ are removed, leaving only the endosperm. Whole grains have not had their bran and germ removed by the milling process, which makes them a rich source of fibre, vitamins and minerals and a good breakfast option!

the structure of a whole grain

Whole grains contain all three parts of the grain – the germ, endosperm and bran. These ensure you get the most from each tiny grain!

  • Bran. The bran is the coarse outer layer of the kernel, which contains loads of fibre.

  • Endosperm. The endosperm is the largest section and the middle layer of the kernel.  It is the main energy source of the plant.

  • Germ. The germ is the embryo of the plant in its early stages. It is the heart of the grain and the smallest part of the kernel.


Tips for Adding whole grains to your diet

It's easy to incorporate whole grain into a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few simple ways to add whole grains to your diet:

  • Use wholegrain products, such as pasta or bread, instead of the white, refined version.

  • Choose wholegrain, high fibre cereals for breakfast, such as some porridge.

  • Try substituting whole wheat or oat flour for up to half the flour in flour-based recipes.

  • Try making your favourite sandwich on whole wheat bread or rolls instead of white bread.

  • Toast oats and grains to bring out their natural nutty flavour before using them as a crunchy topping for salad or yoghurt.

  • Use rolled oats or crush up some unsweetened wholegrain cereal as a crunchy coating for baked chicken or fish recipes.

  • Add barley or wild rice in your favourite soup, stew and casserole recipes.