Removing fiber and bran from whole grains.
Ahh, the 'fiber factor'; it's hard to ignore it, especially as we age or travel or take a serious look at our eating habits. The benefits of fiber are written everywhere:
It is known as "Nature's Broom."
It fills you up more for that satisfied feeling.
Fiber rich diets may help detour colon cancer.
But is fiber the only thing that there is of benefit in whole grains? If that were the case, then we could all just take those little capsules or stir some sawdust in a glass of water and be done! Fiber is NOT the only benefit found in whole grains.
When a grain is eaten in its entirety, it provides far more nutrients that are missing in our diets than just the fiber. For example, in the wheat grain, more than the fiber is removed when it is milled into flour and stored on the shelf. Wheat flour that is bagged and stored for shelf life is missing, not only the fiber, but the endosperm, bran and germ. Even 'whole wheat' flours on your grocer's shelf are missing these items because they begin to 'spoil' once milled and thus shorten the shelf life - which we all know that it means it also shortens the 'sale-ability' for profit.
As a brief introduction, let us simply focus on the bran and fiber that are missing. The bran is often mistaken for fiber alone. When in actuality the bran in a wheat grain includes not only insoluble fiber (Natures broom) but also soluble fiber (which lowers cholesterol).
When just the bran is removed (and remember more than the bran IS removed) to make a flour more shelf-worthy, it ceases to be health worthy. What is removed by way of nutrition is: 86% of the niacin, 73% of the pyridoxine, 50% of the pantothentic acid, 42% of the riboflavin, 33% of the thiamine and 19% of the protein.
Many of these nutrients are a source of differing forms of vitamin B. Is it any wonder that after stripping flour of even just THIS part, the bran, of the natural benefits, we are a tired and sluggish society? Take the time to look up just what these missing natural vitamins are designed to do in your body and you can see a list of what ails most of the population - because much of it is missing.
Nutrients being removed means that they are later 'enriched' by the mass producer with synthetic vitamins. I say, why bother if they were there in the first place, just leave them their in the natural state, the way our bodies like to digest them and use them properly!
The answer is to mill flour at home from organic whole grains to keep all the important nutrients in your flour - just as each grain was created to provide.