Grain kernels have several compartments that contain a variety of nutrients. The germ compartment is in the center of the kernel and is also known as the embryo. The germ is responsible for providing nutrients to help the plant grow, reproduce and spawn new wheat. Thus, it contains many different vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, folate, phosphorus, thiamin, zinc and magnesium.
As well, wheat germ is rich in fibre and polyunsaturated fats. The germ is often used to make vegetable oils, though it can be directly used as an ingredient itself. Wheat germ is an excellent addition to smoothies, yogurt parfaits or baking, and adds extra nutrients to meals or snacks!
Benefits of Wheat Germ:
- An excellent source of phosphorus, which is important in bone metabolism and providing energy to your body.
- Provides zinc, which helps to support a healthy immune system.
- A good source of folate! This B vitamin is important in the proper functioning of red blood cells, as deficiency can cause anemia. It is important to eat foods containing folate as our body cannot store this vitamin.
- Contains vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E may help prevent some cancers and cardiovascular disease.
- An excellent source of thiamin. This B vitamin helps your body use carbohydrates and protein to produce energy.
- A reliable source of polyunsaturated fats. These fats cannot be made in your body and thus must be obtained from the foods you eat. They are important for healthy skin and hair, and have anti-inflammatory effects!
Nutritional Value of 2 Tbsp. (15g) of Wheat Germ:
- 52 calories
- 7.6 g carbohydrate
- 1.9 g fibre
- 3.4 g protein
- 1.4 g fat
- ~27% daily value of thiamin
- Provides ~20% of your daily selenium and zinc needs
Did You Know…
White flour, used to make white bread products, has the germ and bran of the seed removed. This rids these products of valuable nutrients and fibre. Choosing whole grain products provides more health benefits!