benefits of cereals

Benefits of Cereals

1. What Are Cereals
Cereals or grains belong to the monocot families Poaceae or Gramineae and are cultivated widely to obtain the edible components of their fruit seeds. Botanically, these fruits are called caryopsis and are structurally divided into endosperm, germ, and bran. Cereal grains are cultivated in huge quantities and provide more food energy than any other type of crop, therefore, they are known as staple crops.
2. History of Cereals
Be it world history, the growth of civilizations, or development in the human diet patterns, the cultivation of cereal grains has played a significant role. The word cereal is derived from Ceres the name of the Roman goddess of agriculture and the harvest. It is said that almost 12,000 years ago, ancient farming communities dwelling in the Fertile Crescent area of southwest Asia cultivated the first cereal grains. The first Neolithic founder crops that actually initiated the development of agriculture include einkorn wheat, emmer wheat and barley.
3. Cereal Production
Other than its superior nutritive value, cereals are popularly used in kitchens all over the world for their prolific growth and plentiful production in most countries. Different countries have different cereals as their staple food; the reason for this diversity is the production statistics. For example, wheat is the most significant cereal in the diets of most European countries and India. On the other hand, rice is the primary grain used in China, Japan, South East Asia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Brazil, Mynamar, Vietnam, and the US.
4. What is a Breakfast Cereal
Breakfast cereal is actually the packaged breakfast food available in almost all commercial food stores. These types of cereals are sometimes eaten cold or else mixed with milk or water and then fruits are added for extra nutrition and taste. Corn flakes, porridges, and oatmeals are the best examples of breakfast cereal. Usually, these cereals are soaked or boiled to attain a softened structure, which makes them palatable. Sweeteners like honey, sugar or maple syrup are then added for a better taste. Breakfast cereals have become immensely popular in fast-moving countries, as they provide a bowl full of nutrients in a short and simple way.
5. Types of Cereals
The most familiar grains used for making the category of cereals include rice, maize, corn, ragi, bajra, wheat, barley, sorghum, Italian millets and oats. Here we discuss about some of the most widely used cereal varieties.
6. Rice
Rice is probably the most common and popular cereal consumed all over the world; especially in tropical and temperate regions. Rice cannot grow in cold regions. It is used as the staple food in most of the countries and restaurants all over the globe have invented some lip smacking rice recipes that are truly appetizing.
7. Brown Rice
Brown rice is another variety of rice that is rich in the vitamin B group, particularly thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and minerals like iron, potassium, phosphorous and magnesium.
8. Maize
It is the staple cereal in continents like Africa and South America and is used as animal feed worldwide. Cornflakes , as we know them, are nothing but the flaked form of maize. Popcorn is also a popular corn product, which has become a favorite snacks for all ages around the globe.
9. Wheat
This is a prime cereal consumed in temperate zones, especially in Australia, North America, Europe and New Zealand. Wheat is a major ingredient in foods like bread, biscuits, pastries, porridge, cakes, crackers, pancakes, muesli, pies, cookies, rolls, muffins, doughnuts, gravy, and some breakfast cereals. New research suggests that eating white bread could benefit health by encouraging growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Wheat is grown in different forms all over the globe. Some wild species of wheat are now domesticated and are grown widely in specific agricultural zones. Some such species include Spelt , Einkorn (wheat species with one grain only), Emmer , and Durum (species of wheat used to make semolina).
10. Barley
This cereal is popular and highly nutritious one that is usually grown for malting; livestock also thrives on it in lands that are not capable of growing wheat due to financial or climatic conditions.

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