The principal and affordable staple food on this planet, without a doubt, would include one of the following food sources or a combination of them.
The question is: Why then has ‘grain’ or ‘wheat’ become a virtual swear word in health circles today? We will briefly address this question here, but for more detail, please refer to these short articles or read my book.
Grain has been the primary staple food throughout history. We should therefore expect it to contain all the building blocks required for proper nourishment.
The following 5 reasons for eating a well – balanced diet, is well explained in my book. They are:
Considering the above vital functions, it is imperative that the nutrients supplied in grains, are optimally utilized,retain their natural form, and remain unrefined and free from any chemicals or preservatives.
Most grains do not contain all 8 essential amino acids, thus it is not considered a complete protein. Therefore, in the absence of animal protein, one should complement a grain meal with legume, e.g. humus. Furthermore ensure that the building block of the grain, the germ, is present.
Most grains originate from grasses, many different varieties, shapes, sizes and characteristics. The grain plant starts with a seed, then it sprouts, grows, matures, and reproduces. The grain seeds are the end product. If seeds are planted in mineral and nutrient rich soils, it will sprout, grow and absorb all those beautiful minerals and building blocks from the soil. The grain plant will mature and it will convert the absorbed and processed nutrients to seeds, for reproduction. Seeds, are super nutrient rich foods.
However, when grains are milled into flour or rolled into a flake, the grain kernel is destroyed (dead), as well as oxidises, much like a peeled apple turning brown. The solution is to mill, roll and process on demand, i.e. only when needed, and consume immediately.
There are mainly two healthy grain processing methods, i.e. to stone-mill a grain into flour, or to flake or role it flat.
Mill and roller picture.
Below is the anatomy of a grain kernel, showing its essential role as a staple food.
The whole grain is rich in vitamins, bio-available minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids (building blocks for protein), enzymes, phytochemicals, antioxidants, carbohydrates and aromatic elements. It is virtually a complete food.
A grain kernel consists of three main components.
The germ is the embryo or heart of the grain, from which a new plant sprouts. The germ contains all the substances or building blocks necessary to produce a complete plant, which explains its extraordinary nutritional richness.The germ consists of proteins, essential fatty acids, vitamins B1, B2 andB6, niacin and folates, vitamin E – a powerful antioxidant, minerals, enzymes and other nutrients that are essential to carbohydrate and fat metabolism, but because it is the component of grain that spoils first, once processed, it is usually removed in the modern milling process, but sadly, in some cases, even in commercial stone milling, in order to obtain a longer shelf life. Fresh whole food stone-milled flour has a short, 3 day shelf life before the essential fatty acids turn rancid.
Microscopically, bran consists of six layers of cells, which form a hard skin that protects the inside of the kernel. It is rich in proteins, vitamins, especially the B vitamins and minerals. Because it is protected by the bran, a grain kernel can literally be stored for decades under the right conditions.
The endosperm is the biggest part of the grain. It is the energy source for the shoot when it first begins to grow, until the plant can produce its own energy through the process of photosynthesis.
The endosperm is the part of the grain used to produce refined white flour and contains the amino acid gluten. White flour is used for food products such as white bread, pasta and pizza dough, cakes, cookies, as filler in sauces and in many more applications in processed foods. Processed and refined foods should be avoided at all cost, if a healthy and fit lifestyle is to be enjoyed.
Despite grain products throughout the centuries being consumed as a staple food, sadly, thousands have become totally intolerant to wheat and gluten. As a result most people today have come to view grain products negatively. ‘Gluten’ or ‘wheat’ has become a virtual swear word in health circles! They observe that something is wrong, that white flour products are fattening, and that it leads to a host of digestive problems, allergies, heartburn, and others. Consequently many steer away from and avoid grain products, period.
At GO NATURAL we find that,when previously wheat- or gluten-intolerant individuals start to enjoy freshly milled organic whole-grain or wheat, most intolerances disappear immediately, plus they enjoy the added benefits of losing weight, while gaining vitality.
White flour is almost completely devoid of nutrients and fibre, and should be strictly avoided by anyone who wants to remain in good health. Today, in most modern milling practices, with the new roll milling process, the germ and the bran are separated and removed from the grain. In this process ± 90% of all the nutrients are lost. Only the carbohydrate rich part, the endosperm, is left. Chemical preservatives, such as Calcium Propionate, are added to ensure that the bread does not turn mouldy, so ensuring long shelf life, suitable for a convenience-driven modern society.
When a refined flour product is eaten, the results are usually as follows: Within ± 1 hour the carbohydrate part is digested and absorbed as blood glucose. It spikes the blood sugar level. The pancreas get activated as the body is not designed to handle the flood of excess blood sugar. The pancreas work over time to secrete insulin, in order to get rid of the quickly elevated blood sugar level and often stores it as fat. The sad part is that the body wants to continue to self –maintain, -heal and –protect, but it cannot find the adequate building blocks to do so, hence the starving body sends out another hunger signal, i.e. the survival reflex to eat again. Craving is a natural and good response of the body in order to get nutrients at cellular level.
Furthermore, commercial grains today, more than likely contain trace elements of pesticides and herbicides, if it is not truly organically produced, and once harvested, grains are fumigated in a silo with phostoxin or methyl bromide.
Eating empty, nutrient deficient and chemically preserved white flour products and foods, is a serious health risk and in the long term may cause weight gain, obesity, diabetics, constipation, lack of energy, tooth decay, osteoporosis, ADD, slow healing, and food sensitivity which manifests in the form of tummy cramps, spastic colon, headaches, allergies, acne, and skin irritations. The list goes on.
Be sure to verify, when purchasing stone milled flour, that the germ has not been removed before the milling process. True and freshly stone milled flour has a very short (3 day) shelf life. Thus always refer to the milling date to confirm.
In summary, some main benefits of possessing a home stone mill:
Secondary benefits of possessing a home stone mill:
Not to mention the fact that grains can be stored for long periods of time.
It is clear that grains can be enjoyed if it is processed and prepared with traditional wisdom, i.e. organic, as a whole food and fresh.