People have always been using whole grains in their diet. Modern technology and the discovery of steel rollers for wheat processing (in 1830.) replaced the classic stone mills and led to mass production of flour. By rejecting the whole grain and focusing exclusively on white bread and pastry, modern people have gradually eliminated from their diet other extremely valuable grains: rye, buckwheat, millet, barley, oats and even corn.
For centuries our ancestors had been cultivating different cultures and growing them for their alimentation. It seems, however, that nowadays people tend to give up on those reluctantly and turn them into forage. Only rare individuals try to maintain and preserve the traditional ways of preparing meals from whole grains, as a specific gourmet cuisine.
The second half of this century has raised awareness about the need to restore the natural food resources and high biological value that it has for the human body.
One of the basic principles of adequate and healthy diet is the everyday use of whole grains. The use of white flour and white flour products, especially bread and pastry, leads to many severe diseases of modern men. Using whole grains in the diet restores human body energy supplies (due to the high content of complex carbohydrates), lubricates the joints, detoxifies and helps detoxification. Nutritional value of whole grains is much higher than nutritional value of the white flour (being “freed” from practically everything having nutritional value), considering the fact that the grain membrane contains all the nutrients necessary for the development, growth and maintenance of the organism.
The carbohydrate content in the whole grain (in most of the grains) exceeds 70%, proteins 10-17%, fat 1.5-10%, vitamins and minerals up to 2%. It also has a high content of cellulose fibers and amino acids.
Wheat has become the world’s most important grain, since it is mostly used for the production of bread, pastry and other flour products. It originates from Southwest Asia.
Its biological and baking properties make wheat a favorite grain. Even though other grains exceed wheat when it comes to their nutritional value, wheat prevails over those for its characteristics in the process of kneading bread and pastry.
Whole grain wheat contains 70,7% carbohydrates, 10,2% proteins, 2% fat, 1,7% minerals, vitamins B, E, D, K and provitamin A (all of which can be find only in the wheat). It also contains phosphorus (50%) and potassium (20-30%), followed by iron, magnesium, and calcium. Particularly valuable are wheat starch and wheat germ.
-The healing properties of wheat:
It strengthens the immune system, stimulates the growth and development of the organism, eliminates exhaustion and bad mood, regulates digestion, heals rashes, eczema and skin inflammation, throat infections and cough, poisoning and pain, heart diseases and fights premature aging.
Seitan is a high protein product of wheat – also called the wheat meat. The protein content is 70%, and the content of fat and carbohydrates is symbolic. It is easily digested and quickly assimilated by the body, so it is recommended for athletes, children and those who are very active, with high energy consumption. It is used as a complete substitute for meat (along with soybeans), rich in taste, and is very easy to prepare and can be easily combined with other ingredients. It can be used in preparation of stakes, meatballs, stews, rolls, etc. It can be purchased as raw or ready-made seitan (stewed) with soy sauce.
Rye is a cereal that has been competing for centuries for dominance in the production of bread, but is not nearly as widespread and used as wheat. However, for its botanical and baking characteristics rye is most similar to wheat (grain, classes, stems, and proteins containing gluten – the glue). In addition to wheat and corn, rye is the only grain without a wrapper around the kernel (chaff) and can be used in alimentation in its natural form, without further technological processing. Rye originates from western Asia, more precisely – Transcaucasia.
The carbohydrate content in the wheat is 74%, protein 9.3%, fat 1.8%, minerals, 1.8% (mainly potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, calcium, sodium, manganese and sulfur), and vitamins – particularly vitamin B group. Rye is more caloric than wheat – 100 g of rye contains 349 calories.
-The healing properties of rye:
anti-diabetes mellitus, anemia, Grave’s disease, menopause symptoms, migraine, constipation, improvement of blood and the nervous system.
Barley is wrongly considered food of the poor. In terms of its biological value, barley is healthier than wheat is healthier, since it has extraordinary healing properties. It is one of the oldest grains known – it had been known to humans as early as the Stone Age, and traces of barley cultivation were found near the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, the Nile Valley and the Swiss lakes. It was especially appreciated in ancient Greece, where it was considered a gift of the goddess Demeter – “Mother grain”. Modern science has found that barley is 35% unsaturated fatty acids, which reduce cholesterol in the blood. Nowadays, barley is slowly getting back the lost positions from the ancient past. Natural barley malt is an outstanding sweetener and a great substitute for sugar. Barley is also widely used in production of beer.
Carbohydrate content in barley is higher than that of wheat – 73.4%, protein 11%, fat 1.8%, and it is rich in minerals (potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, sodium, sulfur, iron, copper, zinc, iodine) and vitamins, especially vitamin B 12 and vitamin E (more than in other cereals), as well as vitamins A and D.
-The healing properties of barley:
It reduces cholesterol, strengthens the body, helps anti-aging process, vitamin deficiencies, obesity, neurasthenia, vascular disease, leg cramps, and rheumatism, sciatica, stomach and throat diseases.
Oats are native to Asia. Even though its healing properties are undisputable, it is mostly used in animal nutrition (especially horses). In recent years, oatmeal has become popular in human alimentation, since it is highly nutritious because it preserves all natural ingredients of the whole grain.
Due to the high content of minerals, especially calcium, phosphorus, iodine, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, sodium, sulfur, fluorine, vitamins of group B, K, H, E and beta carotene (provitamin A), as well as amino acids, which encourage the growth and formation of red blood cells, oats is more medicine than food. It is known for its high content of easily digestible proteins, 95% of the total proteins and over 20 essential amino acids, whose composition is far more advantageous, as compared to other cereals. It also contains 7% fat, cholesterol-free.
-The healing properties of Oats:
It purifies the blood, cures diabetes, gallbladder, liver, leukemia, gangrene, kidney, bladder and ducts, various inflammations, spleen, ovaries, uterus. Oatmeal successfully treats caries; oat straw tea cures stomach and internal organs problems.
Maize (corn) originates from Mexico, where it was cultivated 4500 years BC. It is the only plant without its natural, wild “sibling”. It used to be one of the main crops in the human diet; it became widely used in animal alimentation. Over the last decade, it has been increasingly used in human nutrition, particularly in the form of instant flour, cereals and sprouts or canned. Corn grain is rich in carbohydrates, starch, sugar and proteins. Corn oil is rich in linoleic acid, vitamin E and fitosterine. Corn starch is used in production of obtained grape sugar. Corn silk contains chlorophyll, phosphorous acid, vitamin C, tannins, essential oils, sugar, enzymes, silicic acid, potassium salt and calcium salt and is very appreciated in traditional medicine.
-The healing properties of corn:
Lowers blood pressure, helps treatment of blood vessels diseases, treatment of diabetes, heart disease, in removing scale from the kidneys, urinary tract diseases, coughing, rickets, spine pains, arteriosclerosis, cataract lung, various inflammations.
Buckwheat is native to Asia, but despite the extremely high nutritional value is rarely used in human nutrition.
It is rich in carbohydrates – 72.9%, protein 11.7%, 2.4%, vegetable oil, minerals, especially potassium (448 mg), phosphorus (282 mg) and calcium (114 mg), followed by iron, sodium and magnesium. It is considered an easy to digest food, despite the high energy content. It contains almost all of the B group vitamins and significant amounts of niacin. It is highly caloric – 100 g of the edible part of the grain contains 335 calories.
Due to its botanical characteristics, buckwheat is used in the production of honey. In one stalk, you can find up to 2000 large, fragrant flowers of different colors, making it very “popular” with bees. Buckwheat honey is highly appreciated.
-The healing properties of buckwheat:
strengthens capillary resistance, affects the lowering of high blood pressure, prevents bleeding and assists in gastric diseases, parasitic diseases, skin diseases and diarrhea.
Millet is a prehistoric culture known from the Neolithic, when it was used as the main food by the majority of the population and as a medicine. It originates from northern India, and is widely recognized as the “food for the poor”. In addition to its medical properties, it is also a dietetic food, easy to digest. It should be part of regular alimentation, especially in cases of impaired health, and in nutrition of the elderly people. As for its use in human nutrition, it should be used husked, since its husks are not digestible due to the high cellulose content (53%). Same as in other whole grains, the biological value of millet is extremely high: 73% carbohydrates, 10% protein, 3% fat, 2.5% minerals, mostly potassium, phosphorus and magnesium, as well as iron, calcium and iodine. Caloric value is substantial – 100 g millet has 327 calories. In addition to its nutritional value, it is easy to prepare and very tasty.
-The healing properties of millet:
Treatment of cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, diseases of the digestive system, it purifies the skin and affects the complexion, strengthens hair and nails, helps the treatment of kidney and bladder diseases, prevents urination during sleep, diarrhea, stomach cramps, gout, sweating.
Brown rice originates from Asia – the Far East and is one of the most balanced foods. In addition to its high content of carbohydrates and protein, it is rich in minerals and vitamins and provides the most energy. Certain types of people can consume it daily, especially athletes and people exposed to physical stress.
Flakes are made from whole grains. A typical breakfast of modern people cannot be imagined without flakes. The most commonly used are; oats, barley, rye, wheat, corn and soybean flakes. When combined with seeds, dried fruit and raw or dried germ and bran (Muslims), this is the strong energy breakfast, easily digestible and beneficial. These are commonly consumed with hot milk, water, tea or yogurt (soaked for ten minutes, cooking not necessary). Flakes are thermally processed so that they can be consumed immediately, without further processing