Originally published March 31 2011
Five reasons show why not to avoid all grains (Opinion)
by Hope Egan
(NaturalNews) Recently grains have been vilified: gluten is blamed for a variety of digestive disorders. Carbs are blamed for weight gain. And many people insist that soaking grains is necessary for good digestion. Is it possible that organic whole wheat is unhealthy? If you shy away from grains, here are five surprising reasons to reconsider eating foods made with organic whole wheat.
1. Whole grains may protect you against radiation. According to Technology's Curse: Diet for the Atomic Age, nutritionist Sara Shannon indicates that a diet of 45% to 50% whole grains can protect you against low-level radiation and other environmental toxins.
2. Burdensome soaking may not be necessary. Many natural health devotees soak their grains, which was popularized by Sally Fallon in her best-selling book Nourishing Traditions. The theory is that phytic acid, a component of the wheat kernel, blocks important minerals from being absorbed and therefore must be soaked to properly digest them. In a fascinating article called "Phytic Acid Friend or Foe? The Soaking of Grains Investigated" Sue Becker exposes some obvious weaknesses in Fallon's theory and makes a strong case for the benefits of eating bread from whole grains that have not been soaked.
3. Whole grains are the perfect food for long-term storage. Kernels of wheat found in Egyptian pyramids were able to sprout 4,000 years after being buried. In our day, people looking to store food for short-term and long-term sustenance should put organic whole wheat at the top of their list. While there is a small learning curve for learning to grind your own flour and bake your own bread, today's small appliances (like grain mills and bread machines) make the process relatively easy.
4. Bread made from freshly milled, organic whole wheat could help cure the common cold. Most Natural News readers know that boosting vitamin C intake is important for fighting colds. But Nobel Laureate Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi discovered that unless it is combined with manganese--plentifully found in wheat germ--vitamin C is not fully absorbed by the body. You can buy wheat germ (which has been processed from the whole grain), but its most natural form is found in the whole grain itself.
5. Eating whole grains can help you lose weight. A study by Penn State revealed that participants in a weight loss program who ate whole grains lost significant body weight and reduced the C-reactive protein levels that lead to heart disease and diabetes.
Over the past century, whole grains, especially whole wheat, have been highly processed, genetically modified, and stripped of their nutrients; therefore, their nutritional value has rightfully been questioned, and they have likely caused many people to develop wheat allergies and sensitivities. However, since organic whole wheat meets nearly all of our nutritional needs (it is filled with vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein), we would do well to assess it fairly when deciding its role in our diets.
Whole grains protect against low levels of radiation and the need for 50% of our diet to be whole grains:
Summary of recommendations from Diet for the Atomic Age:
Sue Becker's article on why grain soaking is not needed:
How bread may help cure the common cold:
Grains discovered in Egyptian tombs can be sprouted after 4,000 years:
What the Bible Says about Healthy Living by Dr. Rex Russell (Regal Books, p. 105 (1996) and p. 100 (2006))
Eating whole grains leads to weight loss:
Health benefits of whole wheat:
Health benefits of manganese:
About the authorHope Egan is a biblical health writer and author of "What the Bible Says about Healthy Living Cookbook: Simple and Tasty Recipes Featuring God's Ingredients." This is the long-awaited follow up to "What the Bible Says about Healthy Living," by Dr. Rex Russell, who wrote her cookbook's foreword. Visit www.BSACookbook.com to contact her or for more information.
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