Because grains can be stored for prolonged periods of time, they have played a decisive role in the development of humankind. Even today, governments maintain strategic reserves of grains, to avoid difficulties in providing their populations with these staple foods.
Their prolonged lifespan – compared to vegetables and fruits – also led to the appearance of commodity markets, as those involved in this industry can project variations in prices depending on crops and other factors.
Whole grains, which are mainly cereals that do not have the bran and germ removed through processing, are a great source of fiber, as well as of iron, various B vitamins, like folic acid. Through processing and the removal of the bran and germ, the cereals are stripped of these advantages and many are fortified with added supplements afterwards.
According to health focused organizations, people should consume at least half of the cereals they eat weekly, in whole grains form.
Various products are obtained from grains, such as breads, pastas, and tortillas.
Revised August 30th, 2015
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Grains represent an important category of dry seeds that are processed in order to become suitable for human and animal consumption. Cereals like wheat and rye are considered grains, but legumes like soybeans and kidney beans are also grains.