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Whole grains give you the living power you need

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When the armies of Alexander the Great went into battle, they subsisted on crude wheat cakes. Ancient Chinese emperors fed their troops a ball of brown rice each day. Centuries later, John Wayne and his group ate "corn dodgers" on the trail in "True Grit."

History holds many stories of whole grains sustaining people when they didn't have time to cook. Whole grains can still do the job. Fortunately, they are available in more tasty forms.

Edible grains include wheat, barley, corn, millet, oats, rice, rye and many others. Nature constructs them alike. Each particle in an outer bran layer contains nearly all the fiber. The germ layer is richest in nutrients.

Today, we know that whole grains give us much more than fiber for sustained energy. The American Cancer Society is urging us to return to an era when the staff of life was more likely to be brown than white.

Studies show that those who eat whole grains are less likely to develop colorectal, stomach, and endometrial cancers and heart disease. The plant chemicals they contain include lignans, flavonoids, and many healthful acids.

Whole grains are good sources of vitamin E, an important antioxidant, and all grains are well endowed with minerals including zinc, selenium, copper, iron, manganese, and magnesium. The minerals are thought to protect cells against oxidation damage.
Whole-Wheat Pancakes

Combine 1 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour with 1/4 cup wheat germ, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Add 1 1/2 cup skim milk, 1/4 cup fat-free egg substitute, and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted.

Warm a skillet to medium-high heat and drop 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Don't crowd them. Cook for 2 minutes, flip and cook for 1 more.

Long Island Health, Fitness & Beauty Articles > Whole grains give you the living power you need

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