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Grain kernel anatomy

Understanding the anatomy of a grain kernel

A grain kernel

Nutrient segmentation

The complexity of a grain kernel

Grains are also known as cereals

Grains are also known as cereals and these are any grasses yielding starchy seeds suitable for human consumption.

Processing of cereals can severely affect the nutritional value of any grain. To understand how and why this happens, you need to have a good understanding of the anatomical distribution of nutrients within a grain kernel.

Although there are slight differences between grains, the anatomical nutrient distribution is essentially the same in all grain varieties.

It is important to note that grains are a double-edged sword that contain both nutrients and antinutrients that can have an adverse effect on human health. See Grains & Legumes: Antinutrients

To appreciate why antinutrients exist, you just need to understand the following analogy. Seeds are no different to human beings who want to spread their genes by having babies. Seeds likewise also want to have babies in the form of seedlings. To this end, seeds will try their best to keep all the nutrients within the seed for their baby [the seedling] by binding the minerals to phytates or producing plant toxins that make it difficult for humans, birds, insects or microorganisms such as fungi or bacteria to survive on them.

This tug-of-war can be overcome by tricking seeds to release their nutrients by soaking before eating as this activates phytases [enzymes] that release these vital micronutrients such as zinc or magnesium as the seed senses the soaking as a germination signal. See The Trouble with Grains and Soy

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