Types of Cereals and Their Benefits for Health

You may have often heard the term cereal and consumed it every day.

However, do you know what cereals really are and how they are beneficial for the health of the body? Check out the complete information in the following explanation!

What is cereal?

Cereals are a source of carbohydrates derived from grain plants and belong to the grain group ( Poaceae ).

The majority of people consume one type of cereal as their daily staple food, for example, rice.

Apart from being delicious and filling, cereals contain important nutrients needed by the body for proper organ function.

Quoting from the Food Data Central website, the main contents of macro and micro nutrients in cereals include:

1. protein,
2. carbohydrate,
3. Lemak,
4. fiber,
5. calcium,
6. iron,
7. zink,
8. vitamin.

With a fairly complete nutritional content, it’s no wonder that this seed plant is the first choice in meeting daily nutritional needs.

Even so, the amount of each of these nutrients can vary depending on the type of cereal you consume.

Types of cereal crops

Maybe without knowing it, you often eat cereals other than rice.

The following types of cereals are found in Indonesia and are often consumed as main meals or snacks.

1. Rice

Rice is not only a staple food for the people of Indonesia, but also for almost all countries in Asia.

As one of the main sources of carbohydrates, rice is quite filling and contains various other nutrients, such as protein, vitamins and minerals.

Every 100 grams of raw rice can contribute 357 kcal which will be used by the body as an energy source.

Rice also comes in various colors with varying amounts of nutrients, such as brown rice, brown rice, and black rice.

2. Corn

Another example of cereal is corn. Corn is one of the staple foods consumed by people from various parts of the world.

Corn has a fairly high water content and low calories, which is around 35 kcal in every 100 grams.

Because of its sweet taste and relatively low carbohydrate content, corn is often processed into a healthy snack, for example, boiled or mixed into a salad.

3. Wheat

Wheat is a type of cereal plant that is often used as an alternative source of carbohydrates.

There are various types of wheat that are usually processed into flour to be used as an ingredient in making bread, cakes and noodles.

Some people use wheat as a substitute for rice as a source of carbohydrates for the diet because the fiber content is higher.

4. Oat

You may already be familiar with oats. This food is often processed into oat flour or consumed as a breakfast menu as oatmeal.

Usually, the bran or fine powdered oat husks are not removed during processing.

This is why oats are often referred to as whole grain foods or whole grains.

5. Barley

Barley is better known as barley.

This type of cereal originates from Asia and has been widely cultivated in various countries because of its various health benefits.

Barley has a fairly low gluten content and high beta-glucan which is said to reduce the risk of heart and blood vessel disease.

6. Rye

Rye or rye may still not be familiar to your ears.

However, this type of cereal is a shame to miss because it is high in fiber and has a fairly low glycemic index compared to other grain crops.

Rye is usually recommended for diabetic patients who need to eat foods with a low glycemic index so that blood sugar levels do not increase.

7. Quinoa

For those of you who are on a diet program to lose weight, you may already be familiar with quinoa.

This type of superfood does not contain gluten (gluten-free), is high in fiber, and contains 9 amino acids that the body needs.

In fact, according to a study in the journal Food (2020), its complete nutritional content makes quinoa an alternative to milk protein.

Benefits of cereals for health

As explained above, cereal plants contain a variety of important nutrients to support health.

Here are a series of benefits of consuming cereals in your daily menu.

1. As the main source of energy

The carbohydrate content in cereals can be one of the main sources of energy for your body so it can move properly.

One of the biggest sources of energy-contributing carbohydrates is white rice which is processed into white rice.

Even so, there’s nothing wrong with consuming other colored rice which is also beneficial for your health.

According to the Journal Of Ethnic Foods (2019), rice with various color variations contains high antioxidants and phytonutrients derived from natural pigments (dyes).

2. Reducing the risk of heart disease

Cereals are also rich in fiber, which can help lower your blood sugar and blood pressure, especially oats and barley.

It is commonly known that these 2 conditions are related to heart health problems.

The higher your blood sugar and blood pressure, the higher your risk of heart disease.

Even though it has these benefits, it doesn’t mean you can consume as much of this carbohydrate source as possible.

The reason is, excessive carbohydrate intake can contribute high calories which contribute to weight gain.

3. Maintain weight

Several types of cereals are believed to help maintain weight, such as oats and quinoa.

According to a study in the journal Nutrients (2019), a higher intake of whole grains, such as oats, is associated with a lower risk of weight gain.

The fiber content and 9 amino acids in low-calorie quinoa help meet nutritional needs without worrying about weight gain.

4. Prevent cancer

Besides being able to reduce the risk of heart disease, fiber in grain plants is also efficacious in preventing cancer.

Research in the journal Open Access Macedonian Journal Of Medical Sciences (2019) found the benefits of dietary fiber in cereals to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in 49964 patients in Asia.

However, these benefits can be obtained if accompanied by a healthy diet and lifestyle.

5. Maintain digestive health

Whole wheat or whole wheat is known to help the digestive activity of food in your intestines because of its high fiber content.

This condition is certainly very good for the digestive system because it maximizes the absorption of nutrients and helps the movement of food until it is later excreted from the body.

In addition, fiber plays an important role in slowing the absorption of sugar so it does not cause a spike in blood sugar levels.

With a number of benefits of cereals above, from now on, don’t hesitate to consume them and choose the right type according to your health condition.
According to Exceptional Learning Experience Cereals And Millets of India (Ragi, Bajra, Jowar, Oats, Barley, Wheat, Rice)

Leave a Comment