What is Wheat Germ?
Wheat germ is the best source of vitamin E known to date. In 1988, the American Journal of Epidemiology published that regular intake of vitamin E protects against cancer. Another benefit of vitamin E is that it serves as a protector of cellular metabolism, giving a longer life to tissues thus slowing the aging process.
Nutritionally speaking, wheat germ is one of the most valuable products available. It is the smallest part of the whole grain, which is made up of 4 parts:
the husk (outer layer)
the bran (a nutritious, high fibre part of the grain)
the endosperm (the largest part of the grain, used in processed grain foods)
the germ (the smallest part of the grain, packed with nutrients)
** Cereals have formed a very important part in the diet of human beings throughout history. With respect to wheat, traders needed to store wheat flour and its products for prolonged periods of time so they opted for removing the germ and bran. By eliminating these components, the wheat flour lasts longer. The problem is that linoleic and linolenic acids, proteins, and vitamin E are also removed.
Other health benefits of vitamin E are:
-Helps to treat infertility :- A deficiency of vitamin E in women causes irregular periods and increases the risk of abortion. In men, it causes reduced sperm mobility.
-Protects cell membranes from oxidation and harmful free radicals.
-Blocks the process by which nitrites used as preservatives in foods form tumors.
Wheat germ may be ingested in several forms:
Flakes - (This is the way I use it) Two tablespoons sprinkled on cereal, yogurt, juice, salads, etc..
Oil - Wheat germ oil is rich in vitamin E, linoleic acids and phospholipids. Add 10 cubic cm to salads daily. You can also use it directly on the skin to prevent wrinkles.
Capsules - If you do not like the taste of the oil but want its benefits, buy capsules of wheat germ oil and take it this way. For the recommended dose read the container.
** Probably one of the best things about wheat germ, especially as you get older and your digestive system starts to slow down, is that it is an excellent source of fiber. Eating wheat germ on a regular basis, as well as eating other fiber rich foods, is an excellent way to stay regular and avoid things like constipation, or worse, a blocked colon.
Wheat germ for women:
Women especially benefit from taking wheat germ as it helps alleviate premenstrual symptoms and also menopausal symptoms. The minerals in wheat germ are also excellent for promoting healthy skin, nails and hair. Women also benefit from having stronger bones and teeth. Also, studies show that eating wheat germ helps prevent certain types of birth defects.
Wheat germ for toddlers:
Would you believe me if I told you that there was a secret ingredient that you could add to your baby's food that would provide a massive nutritional boost? An incredibly healthy ingredient with such a subtle flavour that your baby wouldn't even notice it?
It sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?
Yet that secret ingredient DOES exist - and YOU can increase the nutritive value of many of your baby's meals by the simple addition of wheat germ.
** When your baby turns 8-9 months old, you may begin to introduce wheat products such as wheat germ.
Before including wheat germ (which contains gluten), or any wheat products into your baby's diet. PLEASE be sure to consult with your pediatrician as your infant may have a special situation and the general recommendations may not apply!
Why is wheat germ good for my baby?
The list of nutrients contained in wheat germ is impressive - in fact, wheat germ provides more nutrients per oz than any other grain or vegetable. By adding it to your baby's food, you are providing him with
phosphorus (needed for healthy teeth and bones)
vitamins B1 and B3
vitamin B5 (otherwise known as pantothenic acid, which helps the body assimilate energy from food)
vitamin E (which strengthens the immune system)
protein (the protein content of wheat germ is actually higher than most meats)
** And, if all that isn't enough, a regular diet of wheat germ will also give you more strength and energy, keeps your cholesterol at normal levels and also helps prevent illness.
Be careful not to take more than the indicated dose. Vitamin E is considered potentially toxic if more than the recommended dose is taken. Other factors to take into account is that vitamin E can become pro-oxidant with copper. Vitamin E with selenium has a synergistic effect.
As to the benefits, wheat germ, in any form, is a great source of many vitamins, including vitamin E, most of the B vitamin group, folic acid, and a number of minerals such as iron, calcium, zinc. This list is by no means all inclusive. The vitamin E in wheat germ is a powerful antioxidant that is important for fighting cancer and heart problems.
Solgar's Wheat Germ
Viobin's Wheat Germ