Why is wheat called the “King of Grains”?
Wheat can grow in a wider variety of soils and climate than other grains and is also better suited for making bread and as a staple food. It is a common grain and is found in almost everything you eat like pastas, bagels, pastries, muffins and breads. Wheat is an essential part of almost every meal and is known as the king of grains.
Wheat is full of many nutrients that are good for your health. It contains catalytic elements, protein, vitamin E, vitamin B, mineral salts, copper, calcium, iodide, magnesium, zinc, potassium, manganese, sulphur, silicon, chlorine and arsenic, making it a great base for any diet. Its scientific name is Triticum aestivum vulgare.
Importance of Wheat in Ayurveda
Wheat remains an important food widely used in Ayurveda. It is highly recommended for vata and pitta species due to its nutritious properties, which provide more protein than rice and are better suited for colder climates or seasons. However, wheat should usually be avoided by aquatic species of kapha, which are prone to obesity and slow digestion.
Benefits of Wheat
- Improves metabolism: A high intake of wheat lowers triglycerides, or fats, in the bloodstream. In addition, wheat shows benefits for insulin sensitivity and fat metabolism.
- Controls obesity: Wheat contains dietary fibres therefore, regular consumption of whole grain like wheat can really help obese patients and lead to significant weight loss.
- Prevents diabetes: Consuming wheat improves insulin sensitivity. In addition, whole grain fiber also promotes healthy blood sugar control by slowing the breakdown of starch in the small intestine and facilitating the rise of glucose in our bloodstream. Hence, wheat is useful in diabetes.
- Improves heart health: Wheat and high-fiber foods have been shown to lower blood pressure, which reduces the chance of recurrent heart attacks.
- Prevents breast cancer: A high-fiber diet is known to reduce the risk of breast cancer in women. Whole grains provide large amounts of fiber. Daily intake of 30g of wheat is enough for women to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
- Improves digestion: Wheat helps soften stool and increase mass. It improves bowel regularity and reduces constipation, which contributes to better digestion.
- Reduces gallstones: Excessive bile acids are the main cause of gallstones. Consuming wheat helps reduce gallstone formation.
- Reduces inflammation: The bioactive compound in wheat that is responsible for reducing chronic inflammation is betanin content. Betanin reduces oxidative stress and inflammation.
Uses of Wheat
Wheat is used in a wide variety of foods that are consumed in daily life. One of the easiest ways to get wheat is to include bread in your diet.
You can use it to prepare delicious sandwiches. Another way to include it into your diet is to eat oats or corn flakes for breakfast. You can add some delicious fruit to the bowl to increase its nutritional value and taste. Wheat is used to produce animal feed&is also used to make beer.
Side effects of Wheat
- People who are prone to allergic reactions are warned to avoid wheat as it can worsen the reaction. This can cause eczema, hives and skin rashes.
- Wheat is also high in oxalates. Too much oxalate in your blood can cause many problems such as kidney stones, gallstones and gout.
- Wheat can lead to non-celiac gluten sensitivity which can cause headaches, fatigue, and muscle pains.
Where is it cultivated?
China is the largest wheat producing country, followed by the United States, India and Russia. Kazakhstan and Canada also come in the list. In India, it is produced majorly in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh & Rajasthan.