What’s So Great About Wheat germ?

What’s So Great About Wheat germ?

Let’s take a groovy time machine back to the far out 1970’s today. Not all things from the ‘70’s are worth resurrecting (the Pet Rock comes to mind). But wheat germ, that bran muffin boosting, meatloaf bulking powder your mom likely used, does indeed deserve to make an appearance in your modern kitchen. So don’t be a square, get on board with this nutrition star and be cool, man (to be honest I was very young in the ‘70’s so its possible these terms were only spoken by Fat Albert and the gang in which case, my apologies to true 1970’s aficionados).

According to the Mayo Clinic, wheat germ is found at the centre of a grain of wheat and is systematically removed in the processing of wheat into flour. Unfortunate, since so many of the most important nutrients are actually contained in the germ. “It’s an excellent source of thiamin and a good source of folate, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. The germ also contains protein and fibre.”

As one of the best nutritional sources of folate (the average woman needs 400-800mcg daily and wheat germ provides 100mcg per 1 oz serving), wheat germ can contribute to a healthy pregnancy as well as whether or not there will even be a pregnancy in the first place. That’s because, according the www.3fatchicks.com “Diets that are rich in wheat germ have proven through scientific studies to be more effective at helping women to be fertile.”

It is also a great source of Vitamin E, known to help protect the health of hair, nails and bones. And unlike some foods, the antioxidants in wheat germ do not appear to be degraded by heat, making them hardier and better suited to all sorts of practical uses in cooking.

And the best part: it is virtually undetectable when added to recipes, great news for many parents. While children are rarely low in folic acid and do not need to supplement, adding this throwback to the hippy, trippy days of the 1970’s to some of your favourite recipes for all of the other health benefits (fibre, fullness, healthy fats and antioxidants) means that wheat germ can be another trick of the trade in delivering nutrition to the most discerning of munchkin diners.

Due to the naturally occurring oils in wheat germ, it can go rancid so once opened it is best stored in the fridge for up to 9 months. Here’s a link to everyone’s favourite TV doc, Dr Oz and 4 of his favourite recipes to add wheat germ to, including a totally kid-friendly smoothie and, I’m sorry, did someone say wheat germ POPCORN….how has this man not won a Nobel Prize yet?!

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