According to the University of Harvard, whole wheat bread is made with flour that contains the three parts of the grain which makes it a nutrient dense food:
- Bran: rich in dietary fibre, minerals, and B complex vitamins.
- Endosperm: rich in carbohydrates which provide energy and some plant based proteins.
- Germ: rich in beneficial oils, minerals, vitamin E, and phytochemicals.
Whole grains have been associated with significant health benefits by numerous studies undertaken by the American Society for Nutrition. The scientific evidence shows that whole grains play an important role in people’s diets, regardless of age.
- Reduce the risk of chronic diseases:
- type 2 diabetes
- some types of cancer
- coronary heart disease
- Help maintain an ideal body weight
- Contribute to gastrointestinal health
The data from the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes indicates that the principle sources of whole grains in the American diet are the following:
- Breakfast cereals
- Hot cereals
- Pop corn
Likewise, the whole grains from cereals that are consumed most often are wheat, corn, oats, barley and rice; with wheat (and bakery products) being the most common cereal food in the daily diet of the general population in the United States.
Whole grain bread can be identified by finding the “Whole Grain” stamp from the Whole Grain Counciland the health benefits they provide include:
- Phytochemicals with powerful antioxidants that maintain the body’s cells in good condition and help prevent premature aging.
- Dietary fibre that combats constipation, promotes improved digestion, and maintains microbial gut flora at an optimum level. The microbiota or microbial flora is the group of beneficial microorganisms that live in the large intestine whose activity is extremely important for human health, having an essential role to play in the body’s digestive, immunological, and nervous systems.
- Phytosterols that reduce levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) given that they block their absorption in the intestine thus contributing to arterial health.
The consumption of whole wheat bread is recommended by the American Heart Associationas part of a balanced diet, to help maintain a healthy strong heart.