What is Wheat Germ?
Author: Emily Seddon Date Posted:10 October 2016
One germ that you need!
One aspect of healthy living is keeping nasty germs in check, but there’s one germ that’s worthwhile to consume regularly, that’s wheat germ!
What is Wheat Germ?
The germ of a grain is the nucleus, or the embryo, of the grain which germinates to reproduce the plant.
It’s a small portion of the grain – about 2.5%. The rest of the grain is made up of the bran – the outer fibrous layer – and the endosperm which is made up of mostly carbohydrates and is the largest part of the grain.
Manufacturers often remove the wheat germ and bran during processing, because it contains oils that will go rancid and reduce the shelf life of the product. In doing this, it also removes many nutrients and vitamins, leaving the refined grain stripped of its beneficial properties. Whole grains keep the grain - germ, endosperm and bran – intact.
What are the health benefits of Wheat Germ?
Because the wheat germs role is to help grow a new plant, it contains a high concentration of nutrients that are needed to grow and develop a healthy, new organism.
Wheat germ is a great source of energy and nutrients beneficial to our health. It contains vitamin A, vitamin E, folate (B9), thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), calcium, zinc, phosphorous and magnesium. It’s also a good source of complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids and fibre and is made up of 28% protein – a higher concentration than most meats. It adds in high levels of potassium and iron.
These minerals and vitamins are all important to obtain on a daily basis. Wheat germ provides an easy way to find them!
Where can I find wheat germ?
Eating wholegrains is a great way to make sure you’re reaping all the benefits that grains can offer. Look for whole-wheat breads and pasta, as well as other wholegrains such as quinoa, brown rice, oat groats and buckwheat. You can find wheat germ on its own and it can be a quick and handy way to super-charge any meal!
How do I eat Wheat Germ?
Wheat germ can be:
- Add it to smoothies and protein shakes.
- Added into muffins, pancakes and other baked goods.
- Sprinkled over your yoghurt, cereal or granola.
- Sprinkled over salads as the germ or as wheat germ oil.
- Used instead of breadcrumbs or flour.
- Added in wherever you see fit, get creative!
Just remember to store your wheat germ in the fridge, to keep the nutrients in good shape.
|Written by Emily Seddon|
Emily (BHSc Naturopathy) is a qualified naturopath with a love of science. Growing up with a hippy mum and dad, Emily grew used to thinking outside the box for her own health. She has since completed a degree in Health Science, majoring in Naturopathy, combining that passion for healthy living with scientific and traditional evidence to help others to live happy and healthy lives.
She loves using herbal and nutritional medicine to treat ailments and lives by the philosophy of "there is no such thing as too much tea."