29 August 2008
By Dr Steven R. Schechter, N.D.
Throughout history, whole grains have been referred to as “the staff of life.” Whole grains – brown rice, millet, wheat, barley, oats, corn, buckwheat, and rye – are highly nutritious, containing many of the protective nutrients such as the B complex vitamins, vitamin E, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, and selenium. Buckwheat and millet have been specifically documented as helping to counteract radiation. These two also contain more protein than the other grains. Buckwheat, millet, and rice are the three most digestible grains, easily tolerated even by those with allergies to wheat and rye.
Whole grains are energy foods. They are a rich source of complex carbohydrates, which provide long-lasting, even-keel energy that endures for hours, rather than the short bursts of nervous energy provided by refined sugars and processed grains [like white flour and white flour products].
Complex carbohydrates are efficiently metabolized by the body and then cleanly converted into energy without buildup of unnecessary toxins. Whole grains also provide fiber, which aids in digestion and elimination of waste from the intestinal tract. Fiber shortens intestinal transit time, thus helping to rapidly eliminate harmful toxins, including carcinogens, that otherwise might accumulate there.
Whole grains, in addition to providing vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and fiber, also supply small amounts of protein. They are exceedingly low in toxin-laden fat. Because grains are high in bulk-producing fiber and low in fat and calories, they are an ideal food to eat when weight-loss is necessary.
Diets rich in whole grains provide an abundance of the amino acid Tryptophan, which scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found increases brain levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin increases one’s sense of well-being, reduces tension and stress, and improves sleep.
Refined grains, especially white flour and sugar, on the other hand, leach minerals from the tissues, bones, and teeth. The body converts sugar to triglycerides, a kind of fatty acid that accumulates in the bloodstream as blood cholesterol and contributes to heart disease, diabetes, and a weakened immune system. Refined grains and sugars are referred to as “empty calories” because they provide carbohydrates, or fuel, without the necessary vitamins and minerals for healthy metabolism. These refined, or simple, carbohydrates set metabolism in motion but cannot provide the many vitamins and minerals necessary for the body to carry on the multitude of chemical reactions that are the basis of life.
Refined grains, of course, provide [virtually] no fiber, which makes them difficult to digest. They are also commonly laced with synthetic additives, including artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. A number of studies have shown that many additives, like other toxins, caused behavioral problems, especially in children. Some additives may be carcinogenic.
In short, whole grains encourage health on all levels while refined grains and sugar debilitate the body and rob it of needed nutrients. (Steven R. Schechter N.D., Fighting Radiation & Chemical Pollutants with Foods, Herbs, & Vitamins, p.172,173)