Health Benefits of Grains
Grains, in both their whole and enriched forms, play a vital role in a healthy diet with both immediate and long-term benefits. They are an important source of antioxidants, fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and numerous other vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
Whole grains, as part of a healthy diet, may reduce the risks associated with heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and obesity. Enriched grains have been credited with helping eradicate diseases such as beriberi and pellagra. The folic acid in enriched grains may help prevent serious birth defects as well. In fact, since fortification of folic acid began in 1998, about one-third of all neural tube birth defects have been prevented. In fact, in 2011, the CDC named folic acid fortification of enriched grains as one of top ten public health achievements of the first decade of the 21st century for its role in birth defects prevention.