The nomenclature of the germ is derived from the term 'germination' which makes it evident that it is this germ is the fetus which will mature to become the next plant. The germ contributes to only 2.5% of the weightage of the wheat grain and is extremely nutritive. Unfortunately, during the manufacturing process of the wheat, the germ is disposed off and thus we do not get to reap the benefits from the most nutritious part of the entire grain. It's one of the best sources of folic acid. Folic acid reduces a compound in your body called homocysteine. Lower levels of homocysteine have been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis bone fractures, and dementia. Wheat germ also contains a phytonutrient called L-ergothioneine, which is a powerful antioxidant that is not destroyed by cooking. The fiber boost you get from wheat germ is phenomenal.
- A cupful of toasted wheat germ flakes,mildly sweet and nutty flavored, has about 7.48 g of polyunsaturated and 1.695 g of monounsaturated fats. These fats are required by the body as they nurture the skin and they are cardio-protective fats.
- It does contain about 2% and 11% of the daily value of vitamin A and C respectively. But what makes it remarkable is its richness in the variant B vitamin forms - thiamine or vitamin B1 (126%), riboflavin (55%), pyridoxine or vitamin B6 (55%), niacin (32%), folates and pantothenic acid (16%).
- It has high vitamin E contents which aids neutralization of free radicals in the body being an antioxidant.
- Wheat germ is a storehouse of minerals - phosphorus (129%), zinc (126%), magnesium (90%), iron (57%), copper (35%), 1070 mg of potassium (31%), calcium (5%) and some 5 mg of sodium.
- Even selenium which battles the risk of cancer thrown up by potent carcinogens consumed by the body is also found in wheat germ.
- Wheat germ is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acid which cannot be generated by the body itself and thus has to be provided to the body from outside sources. These alpha-linolenic acids are very essential for blood pressure regulation, sharpened brain function and good heart health.
Wheat germs is a nutritional powerhouse. Here are top ways to sprinkle wheat germ into your diet:
- Put some on your cereal or oatmeal
- Load some into a smoothie
- Disguise them in pancakes, muffins or even brownies
- Launch a dash as a potatoe topping
- Put some onto your ice cream as a nutty topping