Why wholegrain?

All grains are important and valuable for good health, but wholegrains, because they contain the grain in its entirety, contain more fibre. Fibrous foods are digested more slowly by your body so make you feel full for longer which helps prevent obesity. Fibre can also help prevent against heart disease and certain cancers.


What is a whole grain?

Whole grains include grains like wheat, corn, oats, barley, quinoa, sorghum, spelt, rye. Whole grains even include popcorn!

You may already be eating whole grains. When you eat popcorn at the cinema or enjoy a bowl of porridge for breakfast, you’re probably focusing more on the delicious taste than on the fact that these foods are whole grains.


Why are these called whole grains?

A grain is considered to be a whole grain as long as all three original parts, the

  • bran (outer layer)
  • endosperm (starchy middle layer)
  • germ (nutrient rich inner part)

are still present in the same proportions as they were when the grain was growing in the fields.

The Bran

The bran is the multi-layered outer skin of the edible kernel. It contains important antioxidants, B vitamins and fibre.

The Germ

The germ is the embryo which has the potential to sprout into a new plant. It contains many B vitamins, some protein, minerals, and healthy fats.

The Endosperm

The endosperm is the germ’s food supply, which provides essential energy to the young plant so it can send roots down for water and nutrients, and send sprouts up for sunlight’s photosynthesizing power. The endosperm is by far the largest portion of the kernel. It contains starchy carbohydrates, proteins and small amounts of vitamins and minerals.


Here are some resources to help you in the classroom:

Wheat and Grains worksheet

Varieties of wheat flour

What are grains? – lesson plan

There are lots of tasty recipes you can make with wholewheat. Have you tried baking Soda Bread?


Food science