really random posts about food, eating well and healthy, my life, chocolates and dramas!

106: Wheat Germ

I recently bought a packet of Origins raw wheat germ from the supermarket after learning about the goodness of including wheat germ in your daily diet.

Mayo Clinic names wheat germ as one of the top 10 great health foods for eating well.

What exactly is wheat germ? Wheat germ is the part of the wheat they remove when making refined flour. It is only approximately 2.5% of the weight of a grain of wheat but it is the part of the wheat kernel that germinates and turns into a plant. In fact, even though it is a tiny part of the wheat, it is the most nutrient-rich part of the wheat. The majority of the kernel’s fat in found in wheat germ. Due to the high levels of nutrients contained in the wheat germ, it is extracted from the kernel and consumed as a supplement.

Wheat germ contains many essential nutrients and is a good source of:

  • B vitamins such as folate, niacin, thiamin, and vitamin B6
  • Calcium
  • Complex carbohydrates
  • Fiber
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Phosphorous
  • Potassium
  • Protein
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc
In fact, I read that it has more Vitamin B complex than any other food, except liver. Vitamin B complex is crucial for life, for our nerves and our brains.
According to this site, wheat germ contains phytosterols which have been shown to lower cholesterol and promote heart health. In addition, wheat germ contains high amounts of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect the body from damaging free radicals. Wheat germ is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids promote heart health by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, are important for nervous system functioning, and help elevate mood. Wheat germ is also a good source of fibre which has many benefits including improved bowel function and may reduce the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes and prevent weight gain. These were known facts that were even found on the packaging of the packet of raw wheat germs which I purchased too.
Wheat germ can be easily incorporated into the diet. For my raw wheat germ, I learnt that they tend to turn rancid easily (probably because of the oils in the germ) so they recommend people to store it in air tight containers in the refrigerator. Most people recommend eating wheat germ toasted, because its texture and nutty, slightly sweet flavor is usually preferred over raw wheat germ (although it does destroy some nutrients in the wheatgerm). I should probably start toasting a small portion of my wheat germ soon. Oh yes, I really like wheat germ. It has a cute nutty taste, yummmm:)

Something really good is that wheat germ can be used as flour substitute (up to 1 1/2 cups of flour) for baking cookies, cakes and bread. The next time I bake some cookies, I will definitely add in my wheat germ. And I will definitely recommend Mum to put in wheat germ when she bakes the bread using the bread machine.

For now, I added in the wheat germ to my homemade granola, for my daily hearty wholesome breakfast. Wheat germ can be added into yoghurt too! Plus, toasted wheat germ can also be used as a substitute for bread crumbs in many recipes. Cool right?:) Wheat germ is so versatile.

I think everyone should start including this power food into their diets too! Highly recommended. And I believe it is widely available at supermarkets and health stores. I bought mine at a neighbourhood NTUC supermarket.


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