Benefits of Eating Grains - According to ChooseMyPlate.gov:
* Grains are important sources of many nutrients, including dietary fiber, several B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate), and minerals (iron, magnesium, and selenium).
* Dietary Fiber from whole grains, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Fiber is important for proper bowel function. It helps reduce constipation and diverticulosis. Fiber-containing foods such as whole grains help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories. Whole grains are good sources of dietary fiber; most refined (processed) grains contain little fiber.
* B Vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate)play a key role in metabolism – they help the body release energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates. B vitamins are also essential for a healthy nervous system. Many refined grains are enriched with these B vitamins.
* Folate (Folic Acid), another B vitamin, helps the body form red blood cells. Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant and those in the first trimester of pregnancy should consume adequate folate, including folic acid from fortified foods or supplements. This reduces the risk of neural tube defects, spina bifida, and anencephaly during fetal development.
* Iron is used to carry oxygen in the blood. Many teenage girls and women in their childbearing years have iron-deficiency anemia. They should eat foods high in heme-iron (meats) or eat other iron containing foods along with foods rich in vitamin C, which can improve absorption of non-heme iron. Whole and enriched refined grain products are major sources of non-heme iron in American diets.
* Whole Grains are sources of magnesium and selenium. Magnesium is a mineral used in building bones and releasing energy from muscles. Selenium protects cells from oxidation. It is also important for a healthy immune system.
The Benefits of Eating Healthy
Healthy eating is the basis of good health and is the key to maintaining healthy human development, from the prenatal and early childhood years to adulthood. Healthy eating is equally important in reducing the risk of many chronic diseases, and is critical to your children's well being. Keep it simple - stick to basic principles of eating less, exercising more, eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and avoiding as much junk food as possible.
Bad snack habits causes children to eat unclean foods, and contain a variety of hazardous chemicals. Healthy eating begins with learning how to eat smart — it’s not just what you eat, but how you eat. Your food choices can reduce your risk of illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes as well as defend against depression. Additionally, learning the habits of healthy eating can improve your health by boosting your energy, sharpening your memory and stabilizing your mood. Expand your range of healthy food choices and learn how to plan ahead to create and maintain a satisfying, healthy diet.