Wheat germ: what are its health benefits?
Extracted from wheat grain, wheat germ is sold in the form of flakes. It is a 100% natural food supplement rich in vitamins and minerals that easily slips into recipes.
The wheat grain consists of three parts: the husk, also called bran, rich in fiber; the kernel, which accounts for more than 80% of the grain and consists essentially of starch; and the germ, which contains all the elements necessary for the formation of a new plant and which concentrates many nutrients. It takes about 1000 kg of wheat to obtain 1 kg of wheat germ.
Wheat germ is rich in proteins (30%) and fibers (14%), but as it is consumed in small quantities, it is especially its richness in vitamins (E, B1, B6, B9) and minerals (zinc, magnesium, iron…) which makes all its interest. Thus, two tablespoons of wheat germ can cover a third of the recommended daily intake of vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from aging), a third of zinc intake (which protects against infections and promotes healing) and a quarter of magnesium intake (anti-stress, anti-fatigue). It is also one of the richest foods in phytosterols, plant compounds that lower cholesterol, and lutein, an antioxidant that protects the retina.
One to two tablespoons of the wheat germ a day makes it easy and natural to supplement your diet. As its taste is neutral, with a slight note of hazelnut, it slips into both salty and sweet recipes. You should avoid heating it because it degrades the vitamins and essential fatty acids it contains. It is spread at the last moment on raw vegetables, soups, vegetables, yogurt, compote… to enjoy all its richness in nutrients.
You can find them in the health food section of supermarkets or organic shops. For non-organic products, the germ located at the heart of the wheat grain, it is relatively protected from contamination by pesticides. Under the organic label, the offer is broader: it exists naturally or mixed with other “health” products: seaweed, fiber, brewer’s yeast…
Advantage: its vitamins and enzymes are better preserved. The disadvantage, it does not keep more than three months in the cool against twelve for the “stabilized.” This last one underwent light heating to reduce the water content and thus to slow down the oxidation of the germ. Due to its high-fat content, it is a fragile product that can quickly rancid if it is poorly preserved. Always close the package tightly and keep it in a cool place.
How is the wheat germ consumed?
It is dried at low temperature and under partial vacuum, to preserve its nutritional qualities. It will be introduced into various foods to increase their nutritional value: biscuits, cakes, muffins, bread, and pancakes; it will be sprinkled on cereals or salads and incorporated in soups and sauces, or even in meat or vegetable dishes. Once opened, the flaked wheat germ should, if possible, be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container, as it fears moisture. Its shelf life is limited because of the risk of rancidity of their fats.
The wheat germ is the nutrient found inside the wheat grain. It is removed during milling to obtain white flour which, as a result, loses much of its nutritional value. Although wheat germ is tiny, it is full of nutrients. Thus, 2 tablespoons of wheat germ (15 g) provide more than 15% of the recommended nutritional intake (ANC) in vitamin E, 10% of the ANC in vitamin B9 (folic acid), interesting amounts of other vitamins B, thiamine, zinc, phosphorus, iron, copper, potassium and manganese, as well as 4 g of proteins and nearly 2 g of fibres, all for only 55 kcal.
Enrich your dishes with wheat germ
Wheat germ is a particularly concentrated source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that appears to protect against cancer, heart disease, and blindness. Take every opportunity to include it in the dishes you make: homemade cakes, pasta pies, mashed potatoes or vegetables, soups, etc.
How much wheat germ should we take per day?
Well, as much as you want! Only, take care if you have problems with gluten-rich foods and want to control your calorie very strictly.
Extend Reading: Healthy Food Not Always Healthy
How to eat wheat germ- 7 tips to follow:
- 1. It is effortless to replace flour with wheat germ. But it is not necessary to replace all the flour; you can replace half a cup of flour with wheat germ, which will be enough. When you make madeleines, cakes, cupcakes, or any other dessert containing wheat flour, it is an opportunity to consume wheat germ.
- 2. The wheat germ has almost no taste and is not unpleasant in the mouth. So you can add it directly to your dishes. You can also add it to oats or cereals for breakfast. A spoonful a day is ideal. Add the wheat germ spoon to the oats or cereal and mix well to blend in.
- 3. Another alternative for consuming wheat germ is to make a milkshake of it. The preparation is simple, and you can serve it as a snack. You will find there asset nutrition and thinness if you seek to lose weight. To make your wheat germ milkshake, place a cup of plain yogurt without sugar, a spoonful of wheat germ and two tablespoons of cocoa powder in the blender container. Then add sugar and enjoy. If the milkshake is too thick, add 10 cl of skim milk.
- 4. To eat wheat germ, you can add it to your protein shakes. Its nutty taste will add a unique flavor to these preparations, and you will enjoy its benefits. If you’re not used to drinking milkshakes, you can add wheat germ to your recipes instead of breadcrumbs. Make deliciously breaded cutlets, for example. Wheat germ can also replace the crispy bread used in verrines and salads (croutons).
- 5. If you can’t get wheat germ into your diet, you can find wheat germ in capsules in organic stores. In this case, consuming wheat germ is extremely easy. Just take the tablet. The daily dose will depend on the product you have purchased. Although this product is natural, you can consult your doctor before consuming it.
- 6. You can also eat wheat germ powder. In this way, it is straightforward to enjoy its benefits. Dilute a few tablespoons of wheat germ powder in a glass of water and drink this drink like a fruit juice. If you want to lose weight, it’s best to have a glass half an hour before each meal.
- 7. Finally, wheat germ can also consume in flakes. This product is the most used to integrate wheat germ into dishes. Add up to three tablespoons to your preparation. Wheat germ flakes are ideal to put into practice all the advice we have given you and enjoy all the benefits of wheat germ.