Why are grains important?


Quick Answer

Grains are important because they are staple crops that provide food energy to people and livestock. In addition to feeding people, grains make up a large portion of the crops that are grown, providing a substantial economic benefit to farmers.

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Full Answer

Grains that have been milled, stripping away the germ and bran, are typically easier to chew and digest. These are known as refined grains. Refined wheat yields a lighter, less dense flour that is ideal for making airy breads, light cakes and other baked goods. The refining process strips away some of the most nutritious parts of the grain, decreasing the vitamin, mineral and fiber content of the grain. Consumers interested in gaining the maximum nutritional benefits from grains should use whole grains when possible. Peak health benefits come from eating three or more servings daily.

Though some consumers dislike the taste of whole grains, they offer a variety of nutritional benefits, including fiber and B vitamins, such as folate, riboflavin, thiamin and niacin. Other nutrients found in whole grains include iron, selenium, magnesium and protein. Eating a diet rich in whole grains may lower the risk of developing certain chronic diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, colorectal cancer, high blood pressure and inflammatory diseases.

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