What is Wheat Germ?

What is Wheat Germ?

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Wheat germ is one of the healthiest food items we can get our hands-on, yet unfortunately, most people don’t fully understand the health benefits it provides. In this article, we will briefly go over what wheat germ is, how it’s made, the health benefits it provides, the way it’s used, and how you can implement it into your everyday diet. 

What is Wheat Germ and its Benefits?

Wheat germ is an incredibly nutritious ingredient that has seen a huge boom in popularity in recent years, finding its way into nearly every health-oriented diet. It has a nutty taste and can be added to nearly any dish. Unfortunately, many people are allergic to wheat or try to avoid it altogether. For these people, there are wheat germ substitutes that provide many of the same health benefits. Here are some of the benefits of wheat germ:

  • A source of antioxidants - Wheat germ is loaded with vitamin E, which is a very powerful antioxidant. These antioxidants help fight off free radicals, which can cause a great deal of damage if left unchecked
  • A face cleaner - Wheat germ oil, a popular product in the skincare industry, can be used to efficiently clean the face. This is because it helps seal moisture back and also gets rid of excess sebum, which can cause acne, pimples, and blackheads
  • It lowers cholesterol - Wheat germ contains Octacosanol, which is a fatty acid that affects fat metabolism, effectively decreasing cholesterol production. It can help lower the levels of LDL (the bad cholesterol) in your body
  • Scarring treatment - Since wheat germ oil contains so much vitamin E, it can help build collagen, which provides the skin with the strength and structure to properly heal scars
  • Hair nourisher - Wheat oil is rich in linoleic acid, which can act as a hair nourisher
  • Anti-aging properties - Vitamins such as vitamin B6, Folic acid, and vitamin E, all of which can be found in wheat oil, provide anti-aging benefits for the skin

Wheat germ has boomed in popularity in recent years and for good reason. The benefits all listed above are only the benefits that researchers are currently aware of. Further research is necessary to fully understand the benefits of wheat germ. 

What is Wheat Germ Used For?

We’ve established the numerous ways that wheat germ can benefit you, but what are some specific wheat germ uses? The ingredient provides so many different health benefits that it’s hard to list all of them. Here are some of the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals the ingredient provides and how they can help you live a healthier life:

  • Minerals - It contains phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and iron, which keep our bodies strong
  • Vitamin E - Getting your recommended daily dose of vitamin E is crucial for your brain health, as it helps protect brain cells and cell membranes
  • Fiber - Wheat germ contains fiber, which helps balance our blood sugar
  • B Vitamins - It contains B vitamins such as folate, vitamin B1, and vitamin B6, which help keep our heart healthy
  • Fatty acids - Wheat germ also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which lowers inflammation and cholesterol

Wheat germ is the perfect complement to any healthy diet. Incorporating it into yours can help you ensure that you’re getting your recommended daily dose of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. 

How is Wheat Germ Made?

Wheat germ is one part of the wheat berry or the whole wheat kernel. The most popular form of the wheat berry is in its ground-up or milled form, wheat flour. However, the wheat berry doesn’t come off the plant all pulverized. It is originally found as a little round berry made up of the bran, endosperm, and the germ. 

You won’t be able to see the wheat germ unless you cut into the whole wheat berry. Unfortunately, wheat germ is typically removed from the rest of the wheat berry during the milling process. Most of the wheat germ is sent to animal feed or oil production but it can also be found in your local grocery store. 

Is Wheat Germ Good for You?

Some research suggests that wheat germ can aid in boosting your immunity and help to keep your heart and cardiovascular system healthy. Research suggests that whole grains can reduce the risk of heart disease and help you maintain a healthy weight. There is also enough evidence to suggest that wheat germ oil can help you contain your cholesterol levels. 

However, there are some drawbacks to the product. For example, those who are gluten intolerant or have gluten allergies should steer clear of any wheat germ supplements or products. Those who are on low-carb diets should also be careful of their wheat germ consumption, is it contains a high amount of carbohydrates. Wheat germ extract can also cause minor side effects such as nausea, gas, diarrhea, and dizziness. 

What Does Wheat Germ Do in Baking?

Tests and experiments have been conducted to determine the benefits wheat germ provides for baking. Some researchers believe that wheat germ can spur fermentation further than you may see with 100% white flour. Whether or not you enjoy wheat germ in the baking process will entirely depend on your taste. Here are some other popular uses of wheat germ:

  • Use wheat germ instead of bread crumbs
  • Use it as a topping for yogurt or oatmeal
  • Add it to your favorite soup recipe
  • Use it in smoothies
  • Use it as a filler in meatballs or meatloaf
  • Replace flour in baking recipes with wheat germ

You can find raw wheat germ at almost any supermarket or grocery store. Please keep in mind, however, that you should avoid wheat germ if you have a gluten intolerance. 

Spermidine Can Help

Wheat germ helps keep our bodies healthy, both inside and out. It does this by providing a wide range of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins, that help keep our brains, cells, and hearts healthy. Another way our body can achieve this is through autophagy. During autophagy, our body replaces older, damaged cell parts, with healthier ones. Much like wheat germ, spermidine is a compound that can help keep our bodies healthy, both inside and out, by inducing the autophagy process. 

Spermidine is found in many of the foods that we eat. And in fact, our spermidineLIFE® supplements are extracted from wheat germ. However, we often don’t get what we need from diet alone, especially as we age and our body needs more nutrients. This is where supplements can step in to help support a healthy body.