Importance of Whole Grains and Fiber
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends consuming at least 3 servings of whole grains per day. However, many Americans don’t get the recommended daily amount of nutritious whole grains.
Here are a few tips that will help you better understand whole grains and fiber.
Nutrients and Health Benefits
Whole grains are important sources of many nutrients, including dietary fiber, several B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate), and minerals (iron, magnesium, and selenium).
- Fiber: Fiber is important for proper bowel function, and helps support a healthy gastrointestinal tract.
- B vitamins: B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate) play a key role in metabolism – they help the body release energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates. B vitamins help support a healthy nervous system.
- Folate: Folate (folic acid), another B vitamin, helps the body form red blood cells.
- Iron: Iron is used to carry oxygen in the blood. Iron fortified or enriched grain products are important sources of iron in the diets of many Americans.
- Magnesium and Selenium: Whole grains can help supply magnesium and selenium in the diet. Magnesium is a mineral used in building bones and releasing energy from muscles. Selenium helps protects cells from oxidation and helps support a healthy immune system.