Whole grains contribute essential nutrients to the diet:
- Excellent source of fiber, vitamins and minerals
- High in B vitamins, including thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid.
- Excellent source of important minerals, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium and iron.
- Contain basic amino acids, including arginine and lysine.
- Contain numerous antioxidant phytochemicals, including phytates, phenolic compounds, avenanthramides and avenalumic acid.
- Contain bioactive compounds, including lignans, phytosterols and unsaturated fatty acids.
- Contain antinutrients including phytic acid, tannins and enzyme inhibitors.
The grain refining process removes most of the bran and some of the germ, reducing much of the dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, lignans, phytoestrogens, phenolic compounds, bioactive compounds and phytic acid found in whole grains.
Source: The Goodness of Whole Grains, Gary Fulcher and Joanne Slavin, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota.