The first thing you are probably wondering is what is wheat germ, and is it different than regular wheat? Well the answer is that the germ itself is the reproductive part of the wheat itself, minus the endosperm and the bran.
This part of the wheat is where most of the nutrition lies, in that of protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. The endosperm is the part of the wheat where most of the carbohydrates come from, and the bran is where most of the fiber comes from.
The germ is the most nutritious part of the wheat itself, and when just the germ itself is eaten instead of the entire seed itself-it is like eating a more concentrated form of all of this beneficial stuff. You can think of the germ of the wheat seed similarly to the yolk in eggs- it is where most of the nutrition comes from.
Wheat germ itself is an extremely beneficial food that most everyone should include in their diets(with the exception of those with a wheat allergy) because of all that it provides. Here are a few examples of the health benefits that wheat germ can provide to us:
1-High in Antioxidants
Wheat products aren’t the first ones that come to mind as far as antioxidant capabilities are concerned, however wheat germ contains plenty of these antioxidants which protect against free radical damage. Wheat germ is especially rich in Vitamin E, which is known for its ability to maintain the health of our hair, skin and nails.
Antioxidants are important to our health overall, in that they help to reduce the presence of these free radicals. Free radicals can cause reactions to occur in our bodies which we just don’t want to happen. These reactions lead to inflammation and other issues which are known causes of various forms of disease.
This includes various forms of cancers as well, so make sure to include plenty of antioxidant rich foods in your diet like wheat germ, to best help to fight off these diseases.
2-Maintains Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Wheat germ is a great source of fiber, which really helps to regulate our blood sugar levels. When we eat foods like wheat germ, which contains a good amount of fiber along with carbohydrates, these carbohydrates are gradually digested and absorbed in to the body. This slowing effect that fiber has on the digestive system helps to maintain proper blood sugar levels, and reduce the risk of diabetes.
When foods rich in carbohydrates or sugars are lacking fiber, our body is able to quickly digest and absorb all of that material, which spikes blood sugar levels. In addition this tends to cause a spike in energy followed by a huge crash afterwards, another reason to avoid foods lacking fiber.
3-Promotes Healthy Digestion
As we just mentioned, wheat germ is rich in fiber, and fiber is essential to our digestive health. This is because one type of fiber called soluble fiber is the type the body uses to bind up our food and in turn our bowel movement.
Fiber is what allows our bowels to flow naturally and regularly without the need for medications. Without the proper amount of fiber the bowels will not move smoothly, due to their smaller size. This makes it more difficult for the intestines to squeeze out, which is a huge cause for hemorrhoids also.
Make sure to eat enough fiber to keep yourself regular, and to avoid severe constipation.
4-Improves Cardiovascular Health
Studies have shown that including more wheat germ in your diet can help to reduce your chances of getting a heart attack or stroke, and generally improving cardiovascular health as a whole.
This is due to its tremendous nutrient profile, where it is packed with healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and fiber- all of which help improve cardiovascular health.
All whole grains including wheat germ are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, so make sure to eat plenty of these types of foods.
The high levels of antioxidants found in wheat germ is believed to help in regards to cardiovascular health as well. Antioxidants are well known in their ability to fight off arteriosclerosis-otherwise known as the hardening of the blood vessels-particularly the arteries.
The plaque buildup in our arteries is a major cause behind high blood pressure, more strain on the heart, and a poorer health in general. Eating more wheat germ can help reduce these chances.