(NaturalNews) What is white flour? It is from the same wheat plant as whole wheat, but the grain has been bleached and the outer hull, or shell of the grain has been removed. The outer shell is hard and protects the soft inner layer that we eat. However it contains most of the nutrients and the food value in the grain.
In early civilizations, everyone ate "whole" wheat. But now, refined wheat is thought to be a sign of the advancement of our civilization and whole wheat is considered crude or primitive. The outer hull of wheat is filled with life-giving nutrients and most of the fiber. It contains B vitamins, fiber, and many minerals, such as calcium. The interior portion of the wheat, the white part, contains simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates spike your blood sugar and can contribute to diabetes. They contribute empty calories that fill your stomach and do not add nutrients.
Some mass-market brands are made of white, bleached wheat with molasses and other browning agents added. It is important to read labels to find out if the flour used in these products has been processed or not. Processed wheat, with its added coloring and vitamins, does not add up to the nutritional values found in wheat`s germ and bran. The germ of the wheat is especially nutritious. It is an excellent source of B vitamins and the bran is a source of dietary fiber.
Nature has designed foods that are complete in themselves. The human body was designed to eat whole foods and is built to take the nutrients out of whole grains.
Many other grains can be used for bread and pastry and pasta, but wheat is the most common because it contains glutens that cause bread to rise. Some people are allergic to wheat or have a reaction to the glutens in grain. Celiac disease is a disease of the intestines caused by a reaction to gluten. Avoiding wheat for a period of time and rotating exposure to the irritating foods can sometimes eliminate or reduce the reaction to a food allergen.
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) and Amaranth are two grains that were part of the diet of older civilizations, but were lost. Recently farmers have been raising these grains, and products containing these and other whole grains now grace grocery store shelves.
Eating whole grains is an important part of good nutrition. Use whole flour and whole grains to take in your nutrients the natural way, stored in their original packaging of wheat germ and bran.
Melanie Grimes is a writer, award-winning screenwriter, medical journal editor, and adjunct faculty member at Bastyr University. She also teaches homeopathy at the Seattle School of Homeopathy and the American Homeopathic Medical College. A trained homeopath, she is the editor of the homeopathic journal, Simillimum, and has edited alternative and integrative medical journals for 15 years. She has taught creative writing, founded the first Birkenstock store in the USA and authored medical textbooks. Her ebook on Natural Remedies for the Flu is available at: http://melanie-grimes.blogspot.com/2009/04/b... Follow her blog at http://melanie-grimes.blogspot.com/ www.melaniegrimes.com