Cereals are a group of about 5000 different plant species belonging to the Graminaceae family. The best known plants used for food are wheat (or wheat), the rice, but (or corn), thebarley, sorghum, oats, spelled, The mile and rye. Other grains are commonly included among cereals, even if they belong to other families, such as quinoa (from Chenopodiacee), used in the Andean countries of South America, and buckwheat (from the Polygonaceae).
The main component of cereals is starch (70-75%), which is a complex sugar, followed by protein, but with percentages that vary from 7 to 15% according to the cereal species. THE grassi (oils), concentrated in the germ, are modest (18%).
There are also fibers, vitamins of the group B (B1, B2, B3, PP) e I left minerals (potassium, iron, phosphorus and calcium), especially moles Whole grains. All of these nutrients are greatly reduced with refining.
Some cereals contain the gluten, an aggregate of proteins. Wheat is the richest, but also rye, barley and oats contain it. Some people have a gluten intolerance (celiac disease). Fonio, on the other hand, is a gluten-free cereal, rich in magnesium, calcium and zinc
The high starch content makes cereals very energetic, while proteins also make them plastic foods, as they help build and maintain the body's structures. However, cereal proteins are not complete, because they lack some essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. To meet the need for complete proteins, it is therefore also necessary to consume foods of animal origin (meat, fish, milk and dairy products), which contain all the essential amino acids.
In a vegetarian diet, cereals must be associated with legumes, because together these two food sources provide all the essential amino acids for the body.
The fibrous external components, dark in color and not digestible by the body, are usually less appreciated, but they contain important nutritional factors, and their regular consumption promotes correct intestinal function, helps to lower cholesterol and protects against tumor degeneration.
3 recipes of soups with cereals