How to increase your daily consumption of whole grains – quick and easy
In this week I will present to you a simple whole grain recipe that will inspire you eating more whole grain foods.
Are you sensitive to wheat or do have a gluten allergy? If yes, then skip this challenge. Work instead on the other challenges presented so far.
Why are whole grains healthy?
Several different studies show a connection between eating whole grain foods and better health.
The grains humans ate for several thousands of years were rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and hundreds of phytochemicals. However, this great source of nutrients dried up in the late 19th century.
With the use of industrialized roller mills, the bran and germ was stripped away together with virtually all of the fiber and a large number of B and E vitamins.
Milling made the grain easier to chew and digest resulting in refined wheat that creates what we know today as fluffy flour for airy breads and pastries. The mild taste and the fine texture is what makes light bakery especially popular.
Most obese individuals that I met over the years ate refined white bread products constantly before they changed their eating habits. It was part of every meal that they ate. Especially singles who did not know how to cook. They made themselves sandwiches or they opted for pizza all of the time.
Health Benefits of Whole Grain Foods
Cutting back on refined grains and starting a whole grain diet can improve your health in many ways:
Helps you feel satisfied longer
Whole grain makes you feel satisfied sooner. The fiber and protein of whole grains fill the stomach sooner. Additionally, whole grains are digested slower and the blood sugar increases more moderately and stays stable longer. Another important health benefit of whole grains is that they prevent constipation, or hard bowel movements.
Reducing Stomach Fat
What might be interesting for all weight loss aspirants is that recent studies showed that whole grains make a considerable contribution to reducing stomach fat.
Whole Grains as Diabetes prevention
A diet that integrates many whole grain recipes might not only help you with weight loss but can at the same time also lower the risk to develop Diabetes and heart or circulatory problems.
How much is enough?
50-60% of our energy should come from complex carbohydrates. Best sources beneath vegetables and fruits are whole grain foods.
While three or more servings each day will optimize your health benefits, scientists and health experts agree that every bit of whole grain you eat contributes to your health provided you are not sensitive to wheat or have a gluten allergy.
Baby Action Steps: The Ultimative Whole Grain Recipe
While it is healthier to eat foods made totally with whole grains, you may want to change your eating habits gradually. To start, you can get the whole grains you need from foods made with a mix of whole and refined grains.
Even small amounts can start you on the road to better health.
Here is a simple 3-step habit change that helps you to increase and automate your whole grain consumption.
You want to become the person who eats more whole grains. Like in last week’s “shine your kitchen sink” challenge, I recommend you start again with a tiny behavior that you want to automate. I suggest my simple whole grain recipe:
Stir 3-4 tablespoons of rolled oats in your homemade muesli for quick crunch with no cooking necessary.
Step 1: Use your breakfast as a trigger
Step 2: Develop the routine of eating healthy homemade muesli for breakfast as often as possible. The following muesli recipe is one that I eat almost every morning. It is made quickly, has a yummy taste while being healthy and nutritious.
My Whole Grain Recipe Tip:
Core and cut one unpeeled apple into 1/2-inch pieces. Add some almonds or hazelnuts, low fat yoghurt or low fat milk and 3-4 tablespoons of oatmeal. If this is not sweet enough for you, chop one date and add it.
Step 3: Your reward is an enhanced mood and the knowledge that you made yourself a super healthy breakfast with satiation effect till lunch. Eating a healthy breakfast helps in regulating blood sugar levels, which contributes to an overall good mood. Keeping your body nutritionally satisfied makes for a bright, optimistic mood!
If that alone does not work as a reward, maybe self-talk as instant gratification does. You could just say “Great start” to yourself.
Of course, if you want to reward yourself after one week of sticking to this challenge – purchasing a nice muesli bowl could do the trick too…while reminding you at the same time to stick to this habit.
Whole Grain Recipe Tips from my Readers
Check below some inspiring whole grain recipe ideas from my readers.
Severine eats a 1/4 cup of old fashion oats with coconut milk, cinnamon and banana as her second breakfast.
Valerie uses 1/4 cup steel cut oats, 1 T ground flax seed, 1 T sliced almonds, 1/2 banana and 1/4-1/2 cup blueberries, and lots of cinnamon! Soooooo good!
For Carla’s easy oatmeal recipe she chops up an apple into bite size pieces, put it into a sandwich bag with cinnamon, and sweetener (or honey), microwaves the “baked apples” for 2 minutes, while she gets her oatmeal ready. She dumps it all together for a huge serving of yumminess! Very filling!
Tell Me How The Whole Grain Challenge Is Working For You
If you’d like to add anything, or suggest an own whole grain recipe for a yummy, healthy breakfast, I’m sure the community would be very thankful!
Take your whole grain consumption to the next level with the: