Wheat Germ: Part of a Balanced Diet

by Jodee on October 1, 2010

Regular exercise for health is very important, and eating a balanced diet also plays a role in heart health. Without quality foods, your body will not work as efficiently to burn fat and build muscle.

You can stay healthy by eating flaxseed and other foods, and wheat germ should also be part of your diet. This natural product is chock full of nutrients for health.

What is Wheat Germ?

Wheat germ is part of a grain of wheat. It’s called “germ” because this is the portion that will grow if it’s planted in the ground. The wheat germ is also called “wheat berry” or “wheat kernel.”

Why Eat Wheat Germ

Wheat germ is a source of the following nutrients:

  • Folic Acid
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamin
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin E
  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Zinc

Wheat germ is also a good source of protein. If you have cut back on your consumption of meat because you are concerned about the amount of saturated fat in your diet, consider taking wheat germ as a supplement instead.

Folic acid is something that women of childbearing years should take regularly, since it can help prevent neural tube defects in a developing fetus. Taking folic acid regularly also reduces the levels of homocysteine in the body. Elevated homocysteine levels have been linked to several health conditions, including:

  • Dementia
  • Heart disease
  • Osteoporosis bone fractures

How to Get Wheat Germ into Your Diet

Wheat germ can be added to a number of foods. You can use it for baking if you wish; simply replace a half to one cup of flour with the wheat germ when preparing a recipe for quick breads, cookies, pancakes or waffles. You can also add wheat germ to cereal or milk shake. Add a tablespoon or two of water for every quarter cup of wheat germ you use, since this ingredient will absorb moisture and you don’t want to end up with overly dry food.

How to Store Wheat Germ

An unopened container of wheat germ can be stored for up to 12 months at room temperature. It must be kept refrigerated after opening, and can be stored in this manner for up to nine months.

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