Cereals are cultivated widely to provide the staple food in the diet of mankind. They are also known as staple crops. Cereals are rich in complex carbohydrates that provide sufficient energy to the body. Most cereals are a rich source of proteins, fats, lipids, minerals, vitamins, and enzymes. Most common cereals are wheat, rice, maize, ragi, millets, jowar and bajra.
Health benefits of cereals
Large number of minerals
Cereals are the greatest sources of energy and they contain loads of minerals. Most of the minerals comprised by cereals includes potassium, sulphates and phosphates of magnesium and calcium.
Cereals with high amount of minerals
The cereals like ragi, bajra, millets, jowar are having the highest scales of iron and calcium. Along with these they also contain fiber and little amounts of zinc, magnesium and copper.
The proteins and minerals present in the wheat products decrease the chance of breast cancer. The rich amounts of phytosterols and plant estrogen are responsible for this action. With the intake of whole wheat products colon cancer can also be avoided.
The whole cereals like bran and percarp contains cellulose, pectin and hemicellulose which are the major blockers of the constipation problem. Cereals increase the stools and cleans the internal system.
Blood sugar level
The fiber content present in the cereals reduce the glucose discharge from food by which the sugar blood levels will be balanced. Cereal are rich in enzymes like protease, lipases amylase and oxido-reductases.
To get the vitamin E from the cereals it is ideal to pick the rice bran oil from the market. Prefer maizes as they are the contents of carotene. Vitamin B complex will be available in the whole grain cereals.
Every tissue of the cereals contains proteins, Protein concentration varies from stem to root. They are dense in the endosperm from the middle to the borderline.The different types of cereal proteins are albumins, globulins, prolamines gliadins and glutelins.
Your food will be more nutritious if you add the pulses to the cereals. Pulses have good quantity of lysine but low at methionine, to the next side cereals are rich in methionine.
Nutrient value of cereal grains
Whole wheat grains have an outer layers of kernel called bran. In the refining process this layer is removed and the next layer aleurone is exposed which is rich in phosphorous, proteins and fat. This layer is also lost in processing and the next part endosperm contains lot of starch and proteins but is low in minerals and vitamins.The rear part of the kernel is the germ which is rich in protein, fat, minerals and vitamins.
Source of energy
Cereals are found to be the greatest source of energy for mankind. Cereals are inexpensive and a widely available source of energy. Cereals are major energy provider in thediet of poor income families as they provide high amount of energy with the help of minimal expenditure.
High mineral content
Cereals, contain mineralslike sulphates and phosphates of magnesium, potassium and calcium. Small quantity of zinc, copper and manganese are also present in cereals. The high amount of phosphorus present in cereals is called photon.
Regular consumption of whole wheat products reduces the risk of breast cancer. Cereals are rich in plant based steroids and plant estrogen which stimulate the hormone estrogen. Studies have shown that colon cancers can be avoided by consuming whole wheat products.
Prevents constipation and colon disorders
Cereals contain both insoluble and soluble fibres, which often gets demolished while processing. It is advisable to consume whole cereals to treat extreme constipation problems. Cereals also increase the bulk of the stools and keeps the internal system clean. Ragi and brown rice is highly effective in treating constipation disorders. The fibre in the cereals prevents constipation and assists in the process of the digestive system. The soluble fibre helpin lowering the cholesterol level and in balancing the sugar level.
Maintains blood sugar level
The fibre content in cereals, maintains the sugar levels in the blood.By decreasing the speed of secretingglucose from food.
Every cereal grain is rich is loaded with proteins. The different typesof cereal proteins are called “gluten” proteins. The protein content differs in each cereal for example rice contains less of this protein than other cereals. The protein percentage also varies with different varieties of the same cereal.
Packed with nutrients
Whole-grain foodsare major sources of oxygen-carrying iron in the diet. They are also an important source of complex carbohydrates, magnesium, selenium and the B vitamins. Magnesium help in building the bones, selenium serves as an antioxidant and the B Vitamins are needed for metabolism. This vitamin also aids in maintaining a healthy nervous system. The nutrient content of a cereal is decided by the degree of polishing, milling and refining of the grain. Some nutrients are lost in the process of cookingespecially invigorous washing, soaking and the method of cooking.