Wheat germ is a part of the wheat kernel. The germ is only a very small part of the kernel, approximately 2 ½ percent in total. The word germ does not have anything to do with bacteria; it simply refers to germination. The germ is the reproductive part that germinates and forms the wheat grass. The germ is the vitamin and mineral rich embryo of the wheat kernel that is removed during the refining of whole wheat grains to white flour.
Wheat germ along with whole wheat is a rich source of nutrients that makes it important for a healthy diet. In fact, wheat germ contains 23 nutrients, and has more nutrients per ounce than any other vegetable or grain.
Wheat germ may be ingested in several forms:
· Flakes - Two tablespoons sprinkled on cereal, yogurt, juice, salads, etc.
· Oil - Wheat germ oil is rich in vitamin E, linoleic acids and phospholipids. Add 10 cubic cm to salads daily. You can also use it directly on the skin to prevent wrinkles.
· Capsules - If you do not like the taste of the oil but want its benefits, buy capsules of wheat germ oil and take it this way. For the recommended dose read the container. Be careful not to take more than the indicated dose. Vitamin E is considered potentially toxic if more than the recommended dose is taken. Always should be taken under supervision.
How to Select
You can buy wheat germ from all good health stores and many supermarkets will carry it as well. It can either be purchased in toasted or fresh form. There are also many food products that already contain wheat germ. A number of cereals are made with it, as well as bread and flour. Read labels carefully.
· Wheat germ is a top-notch food that can be easily incorporated into casseroles, muffins, and pancakes or sprinkled over cereal or yogurt.
· If you make your own bread or cakes you can easily add wheat germ when baking by using it instead of a small amount of flour.
· You will find that it has a sweet, almost nutty flavor that is not too overpowering.
· It can also be added to vegetables and even yogurt.
How to Store
Because of its high oil content, improperly stored wheat germ can become rancid. So store it in sealed glass jars and keep it refrigerated. Find other, prepackaged wheat products in most natural foods and grocery stores; buy in bulk for maximum savings
· Packed with important B vitamins, such as folate, thiamin, and vitamin B6, and the minerals zinc, magnesium, and manganese Wheat germ is a top-notch food
· A "Germ" that Promotes Health. 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. The human body needs protein in order to repair tissue damage and to help minerals and nutrients reach our cells.
· The amount of nutrients that are contained within wheat germ seems endless.
· It contains more potassium and iron than any other food source.
· Also found in great quantities are riboflavin, calcium, zinc magnesium and vitamins A, B1 and B3.
· Vitamins B1 and 3 are very important to maintain energy levels and maintain healthy muscles, organs, hair and skin.
· Another important vitamin found 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 needed to strengthen the body's immune system.
· Wheat germ has been found to be very beneficial in order to keep the body in tip top condition.
· It is used by athletes in their diet to improve cardiovascular function and improve endurance levels.
· Body builders will also add wheat germ to their diets in order to bulk up and maintain the nutritional levels they need to perform.
· Vitamin E not only protects fats, cholesterol and all cell membranes from damage, it is also important for immune system function, cancer prevention and blood glucose control in both healthy and diabetic individuals.
· Excellent source of fiber.
· Provides longevity and vitality.
· Improves reflexes.
· Improves the utilization of oxygen during exercise.
· Adjust the body during stress.