Non Nutrients of Potential Benefit

In addition to dietary fiber, cereals contain a number of other non-nutrient components, present in minor amounts, that have the potential to exert beneficial physiological effects. Some of these phy-tochemicals, which include phytic acid, sterols, phe-nolics, and flavonoids, have been shown to have in vitro antioxidant and oestrogen-like activities. Fiber and phytochemicals are found at their highest levels in bran and unrefined grain. Thus, these components may play an important role in the protective effects against heart disease and certain cancers that are conferred by diets rich in whole grains.

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