Doreen Spackman M.H.

I hope you are having a wonderful New Year! Did you resolve to be healthier? I hope so! One simple step is to eliminate processed sugary cereals and start enjoying the benefits of whole grain cereal in its wonderful variety of textures, tastes and nutrients. Whole grains are an essential part of healthy eating and have been for thousands of years.

I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but here it is colder than it has been for quite a few years. My cold water kitchen pipe even froze last night…luckily it didn’t break!  With the cold temperatures comes a wonderful time for some healthy hot cereal.

In fact, as I am writing this I am enjoying a huge serving of low heated oat groats with red quinoa, Yum! Now, I haven’t always loved oats. Growing up we had a lot of oatmeal and I can honestly say I probably didn’t eat oatmeal for many years after moving out. When I started low heating grains it was one of the last grains I tried but is now one of my favorites.

Many feel they eat a lot of grains, but are they whole grains? I had a friend tell me they were eating whole grain wheat bread and when I looked at the ingredients it not only had enriched flour in it but caramel coloring!  That my friends, is not whole grain.

Now for the sake of explaining and separating every grain, seed, grass etc., we will use the dictionary to define grain; a single seed or hard seed of a plant, particularly of those kinds whose seeds are used for food of man or beast. This is usually enclosed in a proper shell or covered with a husk…

Whole grain is the entire seed of a plant that is unrefined. That means they have the bran, germ, and endosperm still intact.

Refined grains have been milled. This removes much of the bran and the germ. Milling extends the shelf life but at the cost of removing essential nutrients that our bodies need. Many breads, desserts, snacks, cereals, crackers, and chips, as well as white rice, de-germed corn flour, and white flour are significantly lacking in the nutrition department.

Enriched grains are so processed that nutrients need to added back into the product to even be considered a food. They started enriching foods in the early 1940’s and also began fortifying foods. This means the nutrient wasn’t in the grain to begin with but they wanted to add it instead of getting the nutrient from a natural source.

If you go to the cold cereal aisle and pick up a box that says “Whole Grain” are you going to trust that it is really Whole Grain? Be Smart!

These are some grain facts from www.foodinsight.org .

·      Even if a whole grain is the first ingredient that does not mean it has more of that ingredient than any of the other ingredients.

·      The FDA regulation allows a food manufacturer to include a health claim that links whole grains to reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer.

·      The product must contain all portions of the grain kernel, and only needs to have 51 percent of the whole grain by weight.

·      Descriptive words in the product’s name, such as stone-ground, multi-grain,100% wheat, or bran, do not necessarily indicate that a product is whole grain.

Once a grain is cut, smashed or ground, the kernel’s cell is exposed to oxygen and the oxidation process begins resulting in the loss of much of its nutritional value within a few days. I want the most nutrition I can get out of the food I eat so I eat grains using the low heated method and keep them as whole grains. To learn about low heating grains you can refer to the newsletter for July 11, 2012. I figure the more nutrient rich food I have, the less food I need to eat to get the nutrients I need to have the health and energy to enjoy life more fully!

So be a S.M.A.R.T. (See Marketing And Real Truth) shopper and watch the labels or even buy in bulk. It is really inexpensive to purchase grains in bulk, most stores will order bulk items if you ask. The list of what is available to us continues to grow; oats, kamut, brown rice, popcorn, wild rice, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, teff, amaranth, barley, rye, spelt, wheat. Try a new grain today!

Doreen Spackman is a Master Herbalist graduate and employee of the School of Natural Healing. Doreen enjoys helping others learn to rebuild and restore their bodies with wholesome food. Through classes and private consultations, they can enjoy ultimate and complete health. To contact Doreen please visit www.liveyourlifenaturally.com