September is Whole Grains Month and a great reminder that eating whole grains is beneficial to your health. Those who make whole grains a part of their healthy diet can significantly reduce their risk of chronic diseases. Whole grains provide many nutrients that are important for the heart and overall health.
Whole grains are rich in nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, as well as dietary fiber. The dietary fiber from whole grains can help reduce the risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity while also lowering blood cholesterol levels. Dietary fiber obtained from whole grains also reduces diverticulosis and constipation. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel, bran, germ, and endosperm.
Several studies have shown that individuals who eat enough whole grains will experience dental benefits in the form of a lower risk of gum inflammation and periodontal disease. This is because the consumption of whole grains improves the body’s ability to process blood sugar.
The fact that whole grains can lower the risk of periodontitis follows a very simple mechanism. Whole grains improve glucose metabolism, which leads to lower levels of blood glucose. Diabetics have a reduced risk of periodontitis when they include whole grains in their healthy diet. Non-diabetics also benefit from the dental benefits introduced by whole grains.
Consuming three to four servings of whole grains, equivalent to three or four slices of whole wheat or whole grain bread, is necessary to reduce the risk of tooth-loosening gum inflammation or periodontitis. If you usually eat your lunchtime sandwiches on white bread, opt for whole grain varieties instead. There are other available options of consuming whole grains that extend beyond bread. You can start your day with steel cut or rolled oats. To make the oats interesting and exciting, add fruit, cinnamon, and a dash of maple syrup. For dinner, you can try whole wheat pasta or pilafs made from brown rice.