Although you may be dutifully eating it regularly, you may not know the answer to the question, "Why is wheat germ healthy?"
What Is Wheat Germ?
The wheat kernel can be divided into three parts. Each of these parts has a particular purpose. Whole wheat flour contains all three parts and so contains all of the vitamins in each part.
The three parts of a wheat kernel are:
- Bran: The bran is the outside covering of the kernel. It has the most fiber and it protects the inner parts of the wheat kernel.
- Endosperm: The endosperm is the food for the developing plant. It is about 75 percent starch.
- Germ: The germ is the part of the wheat kernel that germinates and turns into a plant. The majority of the kernel's fat is found in wheat germ. It is the most nutrient-rich part of the wheat.
Nutritional Value of Wheat Germ
Since the wheat germ contains a large portion of the nutrients in the wheat it doesn't take much to deliver a large percentage of the vitamins and minerals needed in your diet. Wheat germ has all of the B vitamins in it, however it has the highest levels of the two mentioned below.
Wheat germ is nearly 30 percent protein. At that percentage, it is higher in protein than most meat products. Protein is an important part of the diet. It gives the cells of the body what they need for growth and repair. Just two tablespoons of wheat germ contain six grams of protein.
The germ has high levels of natural vitamin E. This vitamin is necessary for healthy skin and reproductive health. It is also an important antioxidant.
Thiamine is part of the group of B vitamins. In particular, thiamine is important for metabolism, a healthy nervous system and clear, healthy skin.
Magnesium helps you to have a healthy heart and circulatory system. It keeps your nerves healthy so you don't feel frazzled and also aids calcium to keep your bones healthy.
This vitamin helps to clear cholesterol and speed up your metabolism. It keeps your body energized and burning calories.
Fiber helps to protect the body against all kinds of diseases by keeping the digestive system clean. It also helps to make you feel full so that there is less of a chance of overeating.
Other Nutrients in Wheat Germ
Wheat germ also contains small amounts of the following:
- Co-enzyme Q 10
Why Is Wheat Germ Healthy
If you are still wondering why wheat germ is healthy you may be interested to know some of the illnesses it helps to prevent. When wheat germ is added to the diet it may help to cure, control, or protect against the following illnesses:
- Colon cancer
- High cholesterol
- Symptoms of menopause
- Colon blockages
- Damage from free radicals
- Reduces scarring
How to Add Wheat Germ to Your Diet
Why is wheat germ healthy? It is healthy because it contains so many of the nutrients the human body needs for optimum health and in such an easy to absorb form. Since wheat germ has such a pleasant, sweet, and nutty taste it is easy to put it in rolls and breads as well as other baked goods. It can be sprinkled on top of desserts or your morning cereal. If you prefer not to eat wheat germ, it is also available in a capsule or an oil form. In these forms you will not get the benefit of the fiber, however.
You may want to try several types of wheat germ before you decide on which you like best. Some of the ways that you will find it is:
Always keep your wheat germ stored in a cool place in a tightly sealed container. The raw wheat germ goes rancid very quickly and loses most of its nutritional value. Try to maintain a fresh supply.
Wheat germ is a healthy food and a great part of your healthy vegetarian diet.