6 Wheat Germ Benefits Every Standard American Diet Needs

Sure, wheat germ sounds like the last thing you'd want near your mouth but despite its unfortunate name, rest assured that it has nothing to do with germs. The "germ" part is actually short for "germination" and has nothing to do with microbes and other nasty stuff.

What is Wheat Germ?

Now that we got that out of the way, you should know that what makes wheat germ special is that it's basically the embryo of the wheat plant. And that's precisely what makes this a superfood.

Since the embryo is meant to eventually nourish the new wheat plant, it's packed with loads and loads of essential nutrients that are needed by the new wheat plant to live and thrive.​

what is wheat germ

The sad news is that despite wheat germ being the most nutrient-rich part of the wheat seed, it's discarded when making both white and whole wheat flour - which is what most of us end up eating - since wheat germ's essential components like healthy oils and nutrients go rancid quickly and cut back the shelf life of food products.

So this incredibly nutrition-rich part of the wheat kernel is sacrificed for the sake of a longer shelf life.

The good news is that you can get the wheat germ separately - and it's actually one of the most affordable superfoods as well as one of the most necessary (for many of us).

Here's why...

Is Wheat Germ Good For you?

Wheat germ's main claim to fame is its immensely dense essential mineral content. And this is what makes wheat germ an indispensable superfood. For full details, check wheat germ nutrition facts below.

Our bodies absolutely need minerals - they compose around 4% of the human body and are basically what keeps us going. They give us vitality. They maintain pH balance in our bodies. They regulate everything from tissue growth to enzyme reactions.

Out of the 103 known minerals, we need at least 18 of them for optimal health. We can't produce these and so we must make sure we get plenty through the food we eat.

And that's where the problem lies. Both plants and animals (our food sources) get their food directly from the earth. Good, mineral-rich soil is made up of approximately 45% minerals, yet that's not the case with our soil today.

Due to synthetic fertilizers, mono-cropping, etc., U.S. soil contains around 86% less minerals that they did 100 years ago. And the consequences of this mineral deficiency was felt as early as 1936.

"99% of the American people are deficient in minerals, and a marked deficiency in any one of the more important minerals actually results in disease." - Senate Document 264, 74th Congress, 1936
health benefits of wheat germ

But its not just the soil. There are many factors that result in mineral depletion and these factors are ubiquitous in most of our modern lives: pharmaceutical drugs, coffee, alcohol, sugar, xenoestrogens, stress, excess grains, and of course, dietary insufficiency.

Mineral imbalance and deficiency is something that affects pretty much all of us. An estimated 30 million people in the US over 50 are susceptible to fractures caused by mineral deficiencies in their bones. Around half the American population have a magnesium deficiency. Iron, zinc, and potassium deficiencies are also much too common.

Considering that mineral imbalance can have wide-ranging repercussions - impacting everything from hormonal balance to bone health - it's important to make sure you get plenty of them in your diet.

The best way, of course, is through a healthy, nourishing diet. Use a full-spectrum, good quality sea salt. Drink bone broth. Get proteins from nuts, seeds, legumes, and grass-fed animals and wild seafood. And always consume plenty of leafy greens and good, healthy fats.

what is wheat germ and what benefits does it have?

Or you can just stock up on wheat germ and blend it into your smoothies or toss it on top of your cereal for those days you just don't have the time - or the willpower - to eat healthy, fully-balanced meals.

It's a super convenient way of getting a major dose of your essential minerals as well as a fantastic vegan source of protein - just 100 grams provides almost half of your daily protein requirement!

Wheat germ also comes with a host of health benefits, as well...

Wheat Germ Benefits

So, what exactly is wheat germ good for? 

1. Wheat Germ is a B-Vitamin Powerhouse

There are various B-vitamins like vitamin B6, vitamin B1 and folate found in wheat germ that are needed by the body to keep cardiovascular health up to par as well as produce mood chemicals released by the brain like serotonin, endorphin and oxytocin.

Remarkably, these mood chemicals can keep depression and anxiety in check as well as boost the intensity of orgasms.​

2. Wheat Germ Fights Bad Cholesterol

Adding two tablespoons of wheat germ to your favorite food or drink already gives you a solid 2 grams of fiber, which plays a key role in flushing out low-density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol that can cause serious health problems like heart disease as well as clogged veins and arteries if allowed to accumulate in the body.

Moreover, fiber also optimizes the overall function of the digestive system.​

3. Wheat Germ Keeps Hair Healthy and Lustrous

The rich mineral and phytonutrient content of wheat germ is great for hair - it helps hair follicles grow properly and keep them resilient against breakage.

Although the results are still inconclusive, there are also studies that show wheat germ may prevent alopecia and similar conditions when consumed on a regular basis.​

​4. Wheat Germ Helps Repair and Rejuvenate Tissues

Approximately 30% of wheat germ's composition is pure protein.

Aside from helping keep bodily functions running smoothly, it is also needed by the system in repairing and rejuvenating damaged tissues. It is not uncommon for professional athletes to increase their protein intake when they go through injuries like sprains and pulled muscles.​

5. Wheat Germ Boosts Fertility

Based on clinical tests, women who consume wheat germ often have slightly higher chances of successfully conceiving a child compared to those who don't have it in their diets at all.

Experts theorize that this may be due to the fairly high levels of folic acid in wheat germ that helps augment the number of egg cells produced during ovulation among women.​

6. Wheat Germ Nutrition is rich in minerals

We said wheat germ is exceptionally nutritious - especially when it comes to proteins and essential minerals. Check out the wheat germ nutrition facts...

wheat germ nutrition

Where to Buy Wheat Germ

Our favorite wheat germ is Bob's Red Mill Natural Raw Wheat Germ. It's a little over $10 for 32 oz and just a tablespoon or two goes a long way.

It's absolutely delicious - with a slight, nutty flavor - blended into smoothies for extra minerals and protein or even sprinkled on top of cereal or oatmeal.

 

 

About the Author Jessica

After growing up a perpetually pudgy kid, Jessica discovered real food – and her waistline shortly afterward. When she’s not crafting concoctions in the kitchen, she spends her free time writing about food, making her own deodorant, watching sci-fi, doing headstands, and looking for gluten free food that doesn’t suck.

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