White colour has always been used to symbolise, new, pure, unadulterated, clean etc. On the other hand, brown colour has always been used to signify, dirt, contamination, unclean etc.
This is no longer the case. Brown as opposed to white is the new colour of health cereal products. Name them; brown bread, brown rice, brown ugali etc.
Why are brown cereal products healthier than white counterparts?
Most cereal products are made from flour. The determinant of the health quality of the final product is the milling process.
For example, during the processing of the flour for making brown bread; the bran and germ in the wheat grain are not removed. The bran is the our part of wheat grain and is rich in fibre, while germ is the inner part of wheat grain which is packed with nutrients, Vitamins B and E as well as phytocemicals.
Therefore brown bread or brown ugali is made from what is referred to as whole-grain/whole meal wheat/maize flour.
White bread on the other hand is manufactured from wheat flour devoid of the bran and germ as well as bleached with chemicals to look whiter.
Wheat flour that is not stripped off the bran and germ has several advantages over white alternative.
- It is higher in fibre compared to white bread.
- White bread is lower in zinc, fiber, thiamin, niacin, trace elements and “good” fats and oils.
- White flour whether from wheat or maize is bleached with chemicals to make it white. These chemicals such as potassium bromate, benzoyl peroxide or chlorine dioxide gas are generally not good for health.
The superior nutritional qualities of brown bread are identical to those found in brown maize flour whose bran and germ have not been removed.
Healthy benefits of brown cereal products
- The high fibre content in brown bread and ugali helps in managing diabetes by keeping the blood-sugar levels low.
- Research has shown that women who consume foods rich in insoluble fibre such as whole meal bread have lower risk of gall stones.
- The whole meal bread is associated with reducing risk of heart diseases by lowering LDL Cholesterol (bad cholesterol).
- The whole meal bread is good for those watching their weight since it is lower in calories and keeps you full for longer due to high fibre content.
You might also like:
Joshua Arimi simplifies complex scientific facts on food to user friendly, understandable and applicable information. You can view his blog at www.arimifoods.com