You may have seen integral bread mentioned in other blogs, new articles and in recipes. It has been recommended as a healthy addition to a well-balanced diet plan. But what exactly does “integral” mean? Basically, the term integral bread refers to any bread made with whole grains. The health benefits of integral bread in an overall healthy eating plan are numerous so if you are looking to add it to your diet please ask a doctor in other words your nutritionist. We’ll go over those in this article.
Read the Label
Before we move on to the benefits of integral bread, you first need to understand how to know you’re getting a bread that is truly whole grain. There are many different terms used and it can be confusing unless you know what to look for. These are some of the labels you may see and what they really mean.
- “Made with whole grains”. Probably contain no more than a pinch of whole grains.
- “Multigrain”. Sure, you may be getting 20 different grains, but are they whole or are they refined?
- “Whole grain”. Could have several grain blends. Look for words like “enriched”, “semolina”, “rice”, “bleached”, “unbleached” or “durum” when referring to flour. If you see these, leave it on the shelf.
Look for a label that says “100% whole grain” to be sure you are getting the real deal. Or to be certain you are getting the highest quality, consider baking your own integral bread.
Health Benefits of Integral Bread
This results in a low glycemic index, which means insulin and glucose levels stay lower.
You will also notice you feel full for a longer period of time. An overall healthy lifestyle that includes at least three servings of whole grains daily is recommended.
Integral bread can be part of this plan. These are the health benefits of eating integral bread.
- Risk of stroke reduce by about 35%
- Risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes reduced by about 30%
- Risk of heart disease reduced by up to 28%
- Weight reduction and maintenance is easier
- Asthma risk reduced
- Carotid artery health is improved
- Risk of developing inflammatory disease reduced
- Risk of developing colon and rectal cancer is reduced
- Better blood pressure control
- Improved tooth and gum health
Essential Nutrients of Integral Bread
The health benefits of integral bread come from the essential nutrients that it contains. From fiber to manganese, integral bread is a great source of these nutrients.
- Protein – energy, tissue building.
- Fiber – digestive health, lowers cholesterol and helps you feel fuller longer
- Iron – builds red blood cells which carry oxygen throughout the body
- Magnesium – required for more than 300 biological processes from digestive function to regulation of body temperature
- Phosphorus – important for formation of bones and teeth, as well as regulating the heartbeat
- Zinc – strengthens immune system, also essential for the sense of smell and taste
- Copper – assists in absorption of iron
- Manganese – activates digestive enzymes and essential for the formation of healthy bone and cartilage
- Selenium – supports immune system and regulates thyroid function
- B vitamins – important for metabolism, as well as maintaining skin and hair health