The leaves are starting to change colors and football games are scattering the calendars. September marks the beginning of fall, but it is also a time to sink your teeth into whole grain goodness.
Originally established in 2007 by the Whole Grains Council, Whole Grains Month celebrates the nutritious and delicious foods American wheat farmers work so diligently to produce.
According to an infographic by the Grain Foods Foundation, grains account for 15 percent of the average 2,110 calories consumed by Americans, and contrary to popular belief, whole grains provide many essential nutrients that are important for a healthy, balanced diet. Grains are the largest source of Fiber in the diet for most Americans and a good source of other key nutrients, such as: iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and potassium. The valuable nutrients and antioxidants found in whole grains have also been found to reduce the risks of coronary heart disease, the number one cause of death in the U.S.
Wheat, rice, oats, barely, quinoa, sorghum, rye are just a few examples of whole grains that you should be enjoying daily. The United States Dietary Guidelines recommend 3 full servings, or 3 ounces, of whole grains a day for adults and two servings for children. One serving of whole grains is the equivalent of eating:
- one slice of whole grain bread
- 1/2 a whole-grain English muffin
- 1/3 cup cooked whole-wheat pasta
- 1/3 cup cooked brown rice, bulgur, barley or other cooked grain
As you plan your next meal or roam the grocery store isles, remember to support America’s wheat farmers and whole grain producers, and celebrate National Whole Grains Month.