Fitness goes way beyond slimming to fashion or bodybuilding exercises. It is a state of being physically, mentally, and emotionally fit and having the ability to fulfill tasks maximally. To achieve this height of fitness, you must consider certain factors, which include diet, rest, exercise, and general body condition score. A key factor to fitness is diet, and it consists of food types in diet, frequency, quantity, and quality of meals that you consume daily. Food and feeding go beyond eating to a place of balanced nutrition and benefits, replenishing lost nutrients.
Classes of Grains
Other names for grains include cereals, whole grains, and grains. These are the seeds of grasses that we cultivate and grow for food. Grains grow in various sizes and shapes that may be small seeds, as we see in quinoa or large kernels as in popcorn.
You may have heard about whole grains and kept wondering about whole grains and their benefits to nutrition, health, wellness, and fitness. Grains are excellent sources of carbohydrates and can easily convert to the energy necessary for body function and output. You must have some knowledge of grain types available to be able to distinguish between poor and good food choices to include in your fitness meal plan. Some classes of grains include:
- Whole Grains: This term refers to grains that have all their parts, which are bran, germ, and endosperm. These go into processing in their whole forms, including grinding into flour or cooking. When you compare whole grains to other grains, they are better sources of essential nutrition, containing magnesium, selenium, folate, potassium, iron, and B vitamins. They also serve as an excellent source of fibers that are beneficial to digestion.
- Enriched Grains: This refers to grains that have lost some essential nutrients during processes such as milling and need nutrient replacement. Some enriched grains have exogenous vitamin B. They also undergo a process of fortification, which means that the manufacturer adds nutrients that are normally absent in natural food. Common fortification nutrients include iron and folic acid, and these enrich and fortify grains.
- Refined Grain: This is the term for grains that have undergone the milling process, germ, and bran removal. This makes them smoother and more attractive to the consumer. Another advantage of refined grains is that they have an extended shelf life. However, a downside to this is that the grains lose many essential nutrients, fibers, and vitamins during the milling process, without replacement. It is shocking to know that most finished grain products are from a refined grain, which does not meet the body’s nutrition requirements. Examples of refined grains and products include white bread, white flour, and white rice.
Benefits of Whole Grains
Beyond physical fitness advantages, whole grains offer other benefits such as:
- Health benefits: Whole grains have the potential to decrease heart disease risk as well as diabetes type 2 and other cholesterol associated diseases. Whole grains also help to control blood pressure, and these are important in all ages, but especially the aging, to help decrease age-related diseases.
- Controlling appetite: The fibers in whole grains make you feel full and thereby decrease appetite. They also enhance gastric motility and help to burn fat deposits in the body.
- Antioxidants: Most stress symptoms, as well as tissue and cell injuries, result from exposures to free radicals that hasten aging and cell death. Whole grains are important sources of antioxidants that mop up these free radicals from the blood and cause you to feel fresh and rejuvenate.
- Miscellaneous effects: Whole grains contain compounds that help in cancer-fighting and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Whole Grain Suggestions for Your Fitness and Nutrition Plan
There are various whole grains that you may want to include in your meal plan, depending on fitness plan duration, financial status, and availability of foods in your state or geographical location. However, these are top-notch suggestions for you:
- Whole Oats: These are among the healthiest whole grains that you could enjoy in your fitness meal plan. They contain antioxidants, chief of which is avenanthramide that helps to keep you healthy by decreasing blood pressure and also reduces the risk of colon cancer. They also contain minerals, vitamins, and fibers that improve gut health and control appetite, which is important in your nutrition and fitness plan. Oats also have beta-glucans that increase nutrient absorption and digestion; beta-glucans also decrease cholesterol content, especially low-density lipoproteins. Examples of whole oats include rolled oats, steel-cut oats, and oat grouts. Processed oats may contain unhealthy sugars that will defeat the aim of health and fitness.
- Corn: Corn is a vegetable to most people, but in its real sense, corn is a rich whole grain that houses high antioxidant content. It comes in a variety of colors that include blue, yellow, white, and purple, and you can use its kernels directly from cob or toast for popcorn.
- Brown Rice: Brown rice contains many vitamins and minerals and is so rich that it is too many a superfood. It is rich in phosphorus, antioxidants, magnesium, B vitamins and is also very high in selenium. It is a good fitness plan choice because it is low in fat and high in fiber content, and with a small quantity, you’ll feel full. You could also try red and black rice in your meal plan. They are healthy and nutritious.
- Buckwheat: Buckwheat contains the highest quantity of proteins in the whole grain family and can be a protein source for vegetarian nutition. It also contains high levels of magnesium and helps to regulate blood pressure.
- Quinoa: It is also high in protein and free of gluten, making it the right choice for those that are gluten intolerant. Quinoa is a great source of nutrition, containing antioxidants, omega-3 oils, and B vitamins and adds color and taste to any meal preparation.
The options open to you are limitless, affordable, and available. There is no strict rule on the whole grain choices that you should make. You can employ the help of a nutritionist when drawing a fitness meal plan, or drop your questions on our website, and we’ll be sure to respond.