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What you always wanted to know about whole grains

September 12, 2019
  • Breakfast
  • Nutrition
What you always wanted to know about whole grains

Whole grains. A grain of a special kind, incredibly healthy and rich in nutrients. But what exactly is whole grain?

The term whole grain is used to describe grains of which only the awns and husks are removed after harvesting. As a result, fibre, vitamins, oils and minerals are ideally preserved. Whole grain products therefore have many important advantages for our body and health: they keep you full for longer, they help to keep the blood sugar level constant and support our digestion. If you already have a wholemeal product for breakfast, you are doing everything right!

The history of whole grain is very moving. Nowadays it is no longer just a grain that is transformed into many different products, but much more than that. It is also a way of life, a commitment to a healthier lifestyle. But whole grain was not always this valued for the benefits it has.

The history of whole-grain

Before the technical possibilities were available to sift out the seedling and outer layers, flour contained all the components of the grain. In the early days of flour and bread, every flour was a wholemeal flour. At first, the grain was eaten raw by hunters and gatherers, and now and then it was roasted over a fire. However, this probably wasn’t so delicious 😉

From flour to bread

After the Neolithic revolution when people started to settle down, the grain was processed into mash or flat bread through targeted arable farming and plant cultivation. Grain was already sifted out in ancient times. These processes helped to reduce the number of seedlings and outer layers. This resulted in a purity level that today can be compared to the one of “ruchmehl”. In most cases, however, the grain was sold unsieved and was processed into bread. The ancient doctor Galenos already told of the cleansing and laxative effect of this bread, even though he assumed that it was less nutritious than the sieved version.

The beginnings as the “poor people’s food”

Early on, brown bread or wholemeal bread was regarded as food for the poor. This was the case as it was easier to make than bread from white flour. Therefore, wholemeal bread was mostly consumed by the poorer part of the population. Even in hospitals this distinction could be clearly seen – rich patients and doctors were given white bread, while the rest had to be “content” with wholemeal bread.

Whole grain – The turn in the 19th century

It was not until the 19th century that this distinction gradually volatilized again. With the first nutrition research that was made, people quickly agreed that wholemeal bread was healthier than white bread. This created a turnaround and the mostly unloved brown bread experienced a considerable upswing – today one can enjoy a variety of wholemeal bread specialities in the German-speaking area.

Unfortunately, wholemeal bread also had a dark chapter as National Socialism propagandized wholemeal bread as “pure” and a “German” food. Today, wholemeal bread is mainly known in Europe. In many parts of the world, however, our favourite type of grain is still regarded as inferior.

Full of taste and really healthy

Even if perhaps many people still might not like the taste of wholegrain products and prefer other grain types, there is a variety of dishes based on whole grains which still taste delicious. Moreover, doctors agree that a wholemeal diet is definitely healthier! Studies have shown that people, who have spent over 20 years including whole grains into their diet, have a lower mortality rate than people who have completely excluded wholemeal products from their diet. However, these results are not completely reliable. Not because whole grain has no positive effects on the health, but because people who include whole grains in their diet, generally pay more attention to their health than people who do not. However, we are still convinced: feeling more vital and healthier is definitely possible with whole grains.

Wholemeal for breakfast

Especially for breakfast it is recommended to have wholemeal products more often. Why? Whole grains are full of fibre – it makes you full for longer, ensures a constant blood sugar level, increases digestive power and prevents many diseases. The energy stores which are emptied overnight can therefore be ideally replenished with whole grain products.

But what is the easiest way to do this? Of course, we recommend going the easiest (and tastiest!) way to more whole grains in your life and start the day with muesli or porridge. Another favoured option in Austria is the classic black bread: delicious and incredibly healthy.

Verival Tip: When you consume a lot of fibre in the form of wholemeal products, you should not forget to drink enough, as our digestion needs the liquid to properly break down the fibre.

Our recommendation for your daily breakfast: our fruity Muesli with coconut and apricots or the delicious Bircher Porridge. With these products you can definitely have a healthy start into the day. Another big benefit of a nutritious breakfast: if you eat well and feel healthy, you will automatically be in a better mood. Just give it a try! If you are now interested in our wholemeal products, you’re welcome to browse through our site. Simply select the “Whole grain” filter here and find all the whole grain products in our online shop.