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10 Essential Whole Grains And Their Benefits

Whole grains refer to grains with their husks on. Often called bran too, it is believed to be saturated with vitamins, fibre and minerals. These grains in their wholesome form are beneficial for one and all. Though these grains are a regular feature in our kitchens, they are not always used as grains. More often than not, they are used in their powdered form, grounded along with the bran or the husk.

Here is a list of 10 such grains that we often use in our daily lives:

1) Wheat grains:

It is one of the most common grains used across kitchens. However, wholesome wheat grains are never used in their grain form. It is always the grounded wholesome wheat flour, which is used for making rotis, chappatis or loaves of bread. A form of broken wheat, called Burgul in English and Dalia in Hindi, is also a common way of consuming wholesome wheat grain. Sharbati wholesome wheat grains is another variety of wheat grains, which is popular, due to its taste and quality.

2) Burgul:

Extremely beneficial for people with stomach ailments, diabetics and for those aiming weight loss, wholesome Burgul is high is magnesium content, along with Manganese and iron. Used in its cooked form as soups and salads, Burgul is high on fibre content too.

3) Oats:


The goodness of oats has been around for ages. Earlier on it was called a horse’s meal. However, the discovery of oats as a gluten-free antioxidant meal, saturated with the avenanthramide, changed a lot of that perception about this grain. This particular antioxidant in oats has been proven to reduce colon cancer probability. It is also known to lower cholesterol due to its beta-glucans content, along with helping people with high blood pressure problems.

4) Rye whole grains:

A long light brown grain, which looks like the whole wheat grains, Rye grains contains the maximum fibre. It is an absolute must for diabetic people as well as for the ones who are looking to lose weight. Low in carbohydrates and high in fibre, wholesome Rye grains prevent carbs absorption.

5) Rajgira seeds:

Starchy in texture when eaten, it is probably more famous in its flour form. Rajgira actually qualifies as a pseudo cereal. However, due to the way it is cooked, Rajgira classifies as a grain too. It is a rich source of calcium, iron, magnesium, Vitamin C, phosphorus and potassium. Rich in Lysine, an essential amino acid, it aids in metabolizing fatty acids. Due to its calcium absorbing quality, it also helps in promoting strong, thick hair.

6) Brown Rice:

Brown rice, is the wholesome rice grain with its husk on. Being obviously fibre loaded, it comes complete with the bran, germ and the endosperm. It is organically gluten-free and is full of vitamins, minerals, fibres and antioxidants. Akin to Rajgira seeds, brown rice also contains lignans which help in reducing heart ailment risks, works as an anti-inflammatory element, helps in reducing blood pressure and controls cholesterol.

7) Corn:

Corn is probably known best as a starch. However, unprocessed corns have an abundant concentration of manganese, magnesium, zinc, copper, phosphorus, potassium, B vitamins and antioxidants. Corn also contains Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which aids in preventing muscular degeneration and prohibiting cataracts from forming.

8) Barley:


Termed Jo in Hindi, it is one of the healthiest grains around. Wholesome barley is often also called hulled barley. Eaten as porridge and made into Indian bread like roti or chappati or bhakri, Barley excellent for people with flatulence. It is loaded with manganese, copper, iron, phosphorus and potassium, B vitamins, fibre, selenium, magnesium and zinc. However, it is not a gluten-free grain.

9) Millets:

Baajra is the Indian name for millets. A staple in the kitchens across Asia and Africa, wholesome Millet is light on the stomach and hence is perfect for infants and for people with gut infections, or weak guts. It is a powerhouse of minerals like zinc, magnesium, manganese, iron and B vitamins.

10) Chia seeds:

Called Sabja in Hindi, they do not essentially qualify as whole grains. They are seeds which are eaten as a whole, either soaked in water or as a tampering in various dishes, or as puddings. When soaked, these seeds get gluttonous in texture, which is excellent for binding in foods. Chia seeds are extremely rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre.

Whole grains are unpolished and unrefined grains. This basically makes them stay intact as they are, packed with their nutritional value. Till recently, wholesome grains were husked away and more refined form was believed to be better. However, the essence of wholesome grains is being realized once more, just as our ancestors knew why. Food is nourishment. Eating is the process of gaining that nutrition that our bodies need. Hence making the right choices for consumption is a must if we want to keep healthy for long while keeping sickness at bay.

Akriti Sharma

Akriti Sharma, food blogger, avid food lover and passionate cuisine taster, have been writing on food for as long as she has been travelling. As a cuisine expert, she loves exploring the history behind each cuisine. The richness of each cuisine she tastes and every street food she has loved, the good and the bad of this inevitable aspect of life, is a journey she follows with all her heart.