What are Whole Grains

Cereal grains are the seeds of the plant and they house the embryo and the necessary food reserves required for germination. Forming the dietary staples in many countries, the major grains in the human diet are wheat, rice, and corn (maize). Consumption of oats, millet, barley, sorghum, and rye are more limited.

The basic structure of the grain (regardless of plant type) is shown in Figure 1. There are essentially three layers, the endosperm, bran, and germ layers, each of which have a unique role within germination, but which also contain essential nutrients and phytochemicals important within the human diet and linked to health benefits.

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