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Why Whole Grains Are an Important Part of a Healthy Diet

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Whole grains are beneficial to your diet and health because they contain the entire portion of the grain, including the bran, germ, and endosperm. This compares to refined grains that only contain the endosperm, which is a starchy carbohydrate.

But it is the bran and the germ where you find most of the fiber and beneficial nutrients, like B vitamins, vitamin E, phytochemicals, healthy fats, and minerals.

Whole grains are also a source of fiber, meaning they provide a longer-lasting source of energy, help you to feel full for longer, support gut health, and also help to keep blood sugar levels from spiking.

While food products made from refined grains can be fortified with nutrients to help reduce the risk of nutritional deficiencies, foods like white bread, cereals, and white flour may lack the trace minerals and other potentially beneficial compounds that are naturally present in whole grains.

Simply stated, eating whole grains during the day is one of the best ways to support your body, and you should find ways to add them to your diet.

How Many Whole Grains Do You Need?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), at least half of the grains you eat should be whole grains. Use the following chart to determine how much you should be eating:

  • Children
    • 2-3 years: 3 ounces
    • 4-8 years: 5 ounces
  • Girls
    • 9-13 years: 6 ounces
    • 14-18 years: 6 ounces
  • Boys
    • 9-13 years: 6 ounces
    • 14-18 years: 8 ounces
  • Women
    • 19-30 years: 6 ounces
    • 31-50 years: 6 ounces
    • 51 and older: 6 ounces
  • Men
    • 19-30 years: 8 ounces
    • 31-50 years: 7 ounces
    • 51 and older: 6 ounces

You can think of 1 ounce of grains as being equivalent to a slice of bread or cereal, or ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta. If ½ of your grains should be whole grains, then if you eat one slice of white bread you should follow it up with a slice of wheat bread. 

Crackers, oatmeal, popcorn, tortillas, and similar products are a good source of grains. Just make sure to look at the ingredients list and check that you are buying products made with whole grains.

If you are still struggling to make the switch to whole grains, you may want to consider adding gut support and multivitamin supplements to your diet.

Supplements for Dietary Support

Gut Health

For adults, Digestive Care Multipack from Body Ecology is a digestive support formula that combines cleansing, alkalizing, digestive support, and immune system support all in one. This formula comes with a 10 day supply. Take 1 pack 3 times daily before or with meals.

For children, Dr. Formulated Probiotics Organic Kids + Shelf-Stable from Garden of Life contains 5 billion CFUs from 14 probiotic strains that work to support the function of the gut, abdominal comfort, nutritional absorption, and bowel regularity.

Multivitamin

For adults, Optimal Start from Seeking Health is an herbal extract and multivitamin formula with trace minerals that also contains adaptogenic herbs that may support a healthy stress response. This is a complete formula that may be ideal for all body types and diets. 

For children, Floradix Kinder Love Children’s Multivitamin from Flora is a children’s formula that is specifically designed to help balance acidity levels in the body, support optimal absorption of nutrients, and even contains a proprietary blend of herbs to aid in providing balance to the body,

When you make healthy lifestyle and dietary choices, using supplements may provide extra support to the body to help you feel better and happier throughout the day. Give whole grains a try, and see if supplements aid in your personal health goals!

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