September is Whole Grains Month! Whole grains are the entire seed of plants that contain three parts – the germ, bran and endosperm; whereas refined grains may not have 1 or more parts. For example, refined wheat flour is mostly made up of the endosperm. Whole grains are important dietary sources of fiber, B vitamins, iron, magnesium and selenium.
Eating whole grains regularly may help lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers like colon cancer. Whole grains also aid in weight management and help reduce cholesterol.
Whole grains may be included in soups, pastas, salads, as part of stuffing for vegetables and meat and a variety of other dishes. Snacks like popcorn, whole grain crackers and breakfast cereal are made of whole grains. Choose foods with whole grains (like whole oats, whole wheat and brown rice) listed as the first ingredient on the food label. Note that oftentimes, terms like multi-grain and stone-ground or even the brown color of certain cereal products may contain little or no whole grains.
Here is a recipe of curried fried rice using whole grain brown rice.
Recipe: Curried Fried Rice
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Number of servings: 2
– 2 cups cooked (short grain) brown rice
– ¾ cup superfirm tofu, finely chopped
– ½ cup carrots, diced
– ½ cup green peas, boiled
– 2-3 cloves garlic finely chopped
– 1 tbsp sesame or peanut oil
– Salt to taste
– 2 tbsp soy sauce
– ½ tsp curry powder
– 1-2 tsp cilantro, finely copped
– A dash of lime juice (optional)
1. Heat oil in a pan and add the carrots and garlic. Stir for a few minutes until carrots are cooked but still crunchy.
2. Add tofu, peas, salt, soy sauce and rice. Stir well.
3. Add the curry powder and cilantro. Mix into the fried rice.
4. Add a dash of lime juice if you like.
1. Jonnalagadda, Satya S. et al. “Putting the Whole Grain Puzzle Together: Health Benefits Associated with Whole Grains—Summary of American Society for Nutrition 2010 Satellite Symposium.” The Journal of Nutrition 141.5 (2011): 1011S–1022S. PMC. Web. 1 Sept. 2016.