Wheat, the most popular of grains
Wheat is one of the earliest and most popular of all the grains. It is the basis for baked goods across the globe.
In its whole grain version, wheat contains plenty of B vitamins, vitamin E, and amino acids. Whole wheat flour can be substituted for white flour in all baked goods. Make sure to look for products such as pastas or bread with whole wheat as the first ingredient.
The whole wheat kernels, can be cooked and served in salads or soups. Also farro, a popular Italian grain that is very similar to spelt, can be used in place of wheat or spelt. Bulgur is cracked and toasted wheat. Bulgur is best known as the basis for a tabouleh salad.
Ideally, milling the whole kernel just before baking lends the grain to it’s fullest nutritional value without spoilage or oxidation. Wheat and spelt kernels can be kept in an airtight container in a cool and dry area for several months. Whole wheat flour, spelt flour, and bulgur should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator to slow oxidation process.
A whole grain is simply the most minimally-processed version of any grain. Grain kernels are made up of bran, germ, and the endosperm. As the bran and the germ are stripped away in the refining process, and much of the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are removed in processing as well.
The advantages of whole grains seem to increase with every new scientific study--from helping prevent diseases from cancer to cardiovascular disease to aiding in weight loss by lowering the glycemic index and providing a longer-lasting feeling of fullness.