The general term 'germ' refers to the core embryo or the kernel of a wheat grain. It is a rich source of protein, fiber, unsaturated fat, vitamin E, omega-3 / 6 fatty acids, vitamin B1, B2, B6 phosphorus, zinc, thiamine, magnesium, folic acid, and pantothenic acid.
The Goodness of Wheat Germ
➚ Wheat germ helps in reducing blood cholesterol levels hence reducing the risks of further cardiovascular problems.
➚ It helps to improve the storage of energy in muscles and also enhances the endurance and overall stamina of the body.
➚ Wheat germ contains octacosanol, which also helps to enhance the body reflexes and improves overall alertness.
➚ It can be used as a nutritional supplement while on a weight loss plan as well.
➚ Wheat germ helps improve the overall oxygen utilization by the body.
➚ It helps to balance the metabolism of the body and increases the ability to cope with stress.
➚ It is rich in vitamin E complex, which includes natural antioxidants and hence help to prevent heart disease, cancer, and aging.
➚ Wheat germ also protects the muscles, blood, lungs, and eyes from damage. It prevents blood clots and contributes in strengthening the immune system of the body.
➚ Wheat germ contains vitamin B complex, which helps in coping with stress and benefits metabolism.
➚ As it is also rich in folic acid, it helps lower homocysteine levels and preventing damage to the arteries. Vitamin B also helps in digestion, healthy skin, and repair of tissues.
➚ It is a great source of natural fiber, which is very essential to maintain regular bowel functioning. It also helps relieve constipation.
How to Store Wheat Germ
Wheat germ contains unsaturated fats which is one of the reasons why it can turn rancid very quickly. Raw wheat germ is especially difficult to store. When stored in a sealed jar, it can last for about a year on the shelf. However, once opened, it has to be stored in the refrigerator (where it can keep for about nine months). Remember that even in the refrigerator, it needs to be stored in an airtight container.
How to Consume Wheat Germ
Because of its nutty flavor that goes well with practically any dish, wheat germ is a versatile high-fiber grain that can be sprinkled on salads, added to finished dishes, and even used in desserts. You can also get creative with wheat germ when making breads, omelets, smoothies, pancakes, breakfast cereal, as a great substitute for breadcrumbs, oatmeal and whatever else you'd like this great add-on to be a part of.
Experiment with different ways to incorporate wheat germ into your meals to take full advantage of its immune strengthening, cholesterol lowering benefits. It also goes great with sauces like mustard, chili, and varied dips. Try out wheat germ oil, but not for the purpose of frying. It can added to salads as a dressing or as a finishing touch to a meal after it has been prepared and is off the fire.
Wheat germ is a healthy ingredient that not many of us use as part of our diet. It is essential to have fiber in our meals, since its many nutrients and functioning capabilities are certified gold by health experts. Don't go overboard with this grain since like all things, too much of anything is not good.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a qualified nutritionist.