Wheat was a primary thing facilitating the emergence of city-based societies at the start of civilization because it was one of the first crops that could be easily cultivated on a large scale, and had the other advantage of yielding a harvest that provides long-term storage of food. Wheat germ is the inner embryo of the wheat kernel. Wheat germ is discarded when wheat is milled into white flour. The wheat germ is also called “wheat berry” or “wheat kernel.” The germ of the wheat kernel is often added to baked goods, casseroles and even beverages to improve the nutritional value and give a nutty, crunchy texture. It contains about 10 percent fat, so is not as shelf-stable as most other wheat products. Wheat germ is an excellent nutritious food that is rich in vitamin B complex, vitamin E, enzymes, minerals and much more. The "germ" is the most nutritious portion of the wheat kernel and makes up only about 2 1/2 % of its weight.
What is the history of Wheat?
Wheat is one of the initial cereals known to have been cultivated. The ability of wheat to self- pollinate greatly assisted the selection of many different cultivated varieties. Historical records suggests that wheat first occurred in the regions known as the Fertile Crescent, a region in Western Asia and the Nile Delta, in Northern Egypt. These include southeastern parts of Turkey, Syria, the Levant, Israel, and Egypt. Current research depicts the first cultivation of wheat to be in a small region of southeastern Turkey. Cultivation of wheat began to spread beyond the Fertile Crescent after about 8000 BCE. Until the late 19th century, wheat spread through out Europe and in England, wheat thatch was used for roofing in the Bronze Age, and was in common use.
How to store wheat germ?
Wheat germ goes rancid or stale easily, particularly if raw, owing to its unsaturated fat content.
Fresh wheat germ should smell something like toasted nuts and not mildewed.
A sealed jar of wheat germ will keep about one year on the shelf.
Opened wheat germ container should be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container, where it will keep up to nine months.
What are the nutrients present in wheat germ?
There are countless nutrients that are found in wheat germ.
Wheat germ is very high in protein. It contains around 28 percent protein and has more protein than can be found in most meat products
It contains more potassium and iron than any other food source.
Wheat germ also has great amounts of riboflavin, calcium, zinc magnesium and vitamins A, B1 and B3, C, D, thiamine, niacin, folic acid, and vitamin E.
Wheat germ has minerals such as potassium, sodium, copper, manganese, iron, selenium and fluoride.
It has essential Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
An ounce of wheat germ contains four grams of fiber and eight grams of protein. It is high in iron, potassium and vitamins B1 and B3, as well as vitamin E.
How is wheat germ separated from wheat?
Wheat germ is part of a grain of wheat. It’s called “germ” because this is the portion that will grow if it’s planted in the ground.
Wheat germ has a coarser texture than flour and is usually sifted out along with bran during flour-making. Wheat germ is usually separated from the bran and starch during the milling of flour, as the germ's perishable oil content restricts the freshness of the flour.
What is wheat germ oil?
Wheat germ oil is made from the "germ" of the wheat. The grain consists of three parts - the husk, the germ and the endosperm. It is the germ that is used in the manufacture of the oil. Wheat germ oil is extracted by a process called cold-pressing. In this process, wheat germ is pressed with a great weight. Later, the oil carved out of the wheat germ is processed and refined for further uses.
What are the benefits of wheat germ and its oil?
The human body needs protein in order to repair tissue damage and to help minerals and nutrients reach our cells. Wheat germ is an excellent source of protein.
The vitamins and minerals found in wheat germ are very important to maintain energy levels and maintain healthy muscles, organs, hair and skin.
Wheat germ is one of the best sources of folic acid. Folic acid is recommended that all women of childbearing age should get adequate amounts of this nutrient to prevent neural-tube birth defects.
Also, Folic acid decreases a compound in the human body called ‘homocysteine’. Lower levels of homocysteine have been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis You do not have access to view this node fractures, and dementia.
One more vital vitamin present in wheat germ is vitamin E. Vitamin E is a very important antioxidant. It is helpful in preventing the body’s aging process and also to prevent heart disease. Vitamin E also helps to prevent blood clots and is required to reinforce the body’s immune system.
Wheat germ also has a phyto-nutrient called ‘L-ergothioneine’, which is an excellent antioxidant that is not damaged by cooking.
The fiber found in wheat germ is extraordinary and therefore it provides the benefit of great fiber content in a healthy diet.
Wheat germ is fat-fighter and can be part of any weight loss program.
Wheat germ, owing to its high concentration of complex carbohydrates and protein helps in gaining muscle.
Wheat germ can be used by athletes in their diet to improve cardiovascular function and improve stamina levels.
Body builders can also add wheat germ to their diets in order to gain muscle and maintain the nutritional levels.
Wheat germ oil is rich in vitamin E and is used for anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects in skin creams and lotions. It is also used for treating eczema, psoriasis, stretch marks, sun-burns, poor blood circulation, scars, tired skin, and dull complexion.
Wheat germ oil is used to reduce the cholesterol levels and to improve lymph functions.
How to include wheat germ in diet?
Wheat germ can be added in the breakfast cereals or porridges. It can also be added in Pre-exercise drinks or in smoothies.
It can also be added to the bed time glass of warm milk which can help sleep better.
One can use it for baking by replacing a half to one cup of flour with the wheat germ when preparing a recipe for quick breads, cookies, pancakes or waffles.
One can add wheat germ to cereal or milk shake.
One can try it in a casserole or meatloaf or use wheat germ as a substitute for bread crumbs.