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Cereals are loaded with complex carbohydrates and also have abundance of fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, lipids and enzymes. Cereals provide you with energy and also help in the prevention of constipation, high blood sugar levels and colon disorders.
Studies have shown that consuming whole grains instead of refined grains is beneficial and reduces the risk of a lot of chronic diseases including stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart disease and helps in weight maintenance.
Cereals, great sources of energy, are the most widely consumed food. They are inexpensive and constitute a major portion of everyday diet in many places, like India, rural Africa and Asia, especially in poor income families who attain maximum energy with the intake of cereals with minimal expenditure
Whole grain products are rich in oxygen carrying iron. Cereals also contain maximum sulfates and phosphates of minerals like potassium, magnesium and calcium. It is an important source of complex carbohydrates, magnesium which helps in the building of our bones, selenium which is an antioxidant and the B-vitamins, riboflavin, thiamine and niacin which help in maintaining our nervous system and are essential for our metabolism. The bran and the germ layers of the grains are where the maximum amount of minerals and found, and hence, the processed and the unfortified grains lack the essential nutrients.
Studies have also shown that consumption of whole wheat products and fiber-rich cereals can prevent colon cancer. Cereals are rich in the beneficial plant based phytochemicals, orthophenols, an antioxidant which helps in the prevention of certain cancers. Whole wheat products are known to reduce the risks of breast cancer also. Since maximum phytochemicals are located in the bran and germ, you will benefit more from whole grains.
Cereals are rich in fiber content which prevents constipation and helps to maintain a healthy digestive tract. The soluble fiber helps to balance the blood sugar level as it lowers the level of cholesterol. Whole grain cereals contain more fiber which means that the fiber content in brown rice is three times more than white rice.
Even though pulses belong to the legume family, the term pulse is used to refer to only the dried seed. Pulses come in all varieties, shapes and colors and include edible beans, dried peas, chick peas and lentils and are good alternatives to animal protein. Fresh green peas or beans are not included in pulses though. Pulses are beneficial for people suffering from diabetes, obesity, constipation and high blood cholesterol levels
Pulses have a high content of both soluble fibers which help to lower blood cholesterol levels and insoluble fibers which helps in the process of digestion. They are also more filling and help to keep us full till our next meal and are hence, very effective weight managers.
The fiber and starch in pulses prevent the quick rising of blood sugars after any meal.
High levels of the protein homocysteine damage the arterial linings and promote blood clots and plaque buildup leading to heart attacks over time. Folate, in pulses lowers the homocysteine levels.
Pulses are gluten free and hence even people with celiac disease can eat them. They make great alternatives to the wheat based products providing fiber, protein, starch and many minerals and vitamins.
Vegetarians can ensure a high protein diet with the inclusion of pulses in place of chicken and fish and other meat products.
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