Gluten grains may be the most problematic of the grains but a high intake of non-gluten grains has caused plenty of health problems around the world too.
An example of this is corn. Corn is a non-gluten grain but it’s interesting to note that it is particularly low in niacin (vitamin B3) and tryptophan, an amino acid the body can use to make niacin. As a result of a high intake of corn, pellagra (niacin deficiency disease) can develop.
Imbalances & nutrient deficiencies in refined grains
You may not be aware of it, but refined grains are nutrient-deprived foods.
The process of refining wheat involves the removal of the starchy endosperm away from the bran and germ, which also strips away the portions of vitamins & minerals essential for health.
The vitamins & minerals stripped away include:
- 60% of the calcium
- 85 % of the magnesium
- 77% of the potassium
- 78% of the zinc
- 68% of the copper
- 76% of the iron
- 86 % of the manganese
- 40% of the chromium
- 48 % of the molybdenum
Nutrients including chromium, magnesium & zinc are vital in assisting the body to properly use carbohydrates including grains for fuel.
Other nutrients including potassium & calcium are required to perform vital functions such as building & strengthening bones & relaxing muscles.
Unfortunately, eating plenty of white flour products doesn’t provide many of these nutrients. As a result of this it can lead, over time, to subtle pre-clinical nutrient deficiencies. The more refined grains & sugars we eat, the less balance we have of nutritious foods that provide the essential nutrients absent in refined foods.
Eating too many refined grains and sugars instead of nutritious foods leaves our body lacking the vital nutrients from nutritious foods. We are more likely to develop sub-optimal intakes, or worse, nutrient deficiencies, preventing our body from performing at its best.
Keep in mind that whole grains – which refined grains are derived from – also contain no vitamin B12 & none of the important antioxidants including vitamin A, vitamin C & beta carotene.
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