Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Whole grains are better for you but they're no panacea

By Kristina Nelson, Lily Stojanovska and Michael Mathai

Eating whole grain foods is considered better for your health than refined grain foods, but whole grains may have a role in inflammation.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Eating whole grain foods, such as oats and grainy breads, is better for health than refined grain foods such as white bread or pizza. But whole grains are also thought to have a role in inflammation.

Whole grains comprise three main parts: germ (the embryo), bran (husk), and endosperm (the part of the seed that’s the food store for the embryo). They have more fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other bioactive compounds than refined grains, which have the germ and bran removed.

These compounds may contribute to how whole grain consumption reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases such as obesity, type-2 diabetes and cancer.

A common factor in these diseases is their underlying inflammation, which contributes to the damage they can cause.

Understanding inflammation

Inflammation is part of the body’s repair process, following an infection or injury.

It’s a short-term process that’s important for healing, with obvious localised symptoms of pain, redness and swelling. But persistent, non-resolving inflammation is a factor in many...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.