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Nutritional Contents and Medicinal Properties of Wheat: A Review

Author(s): P Kumar

Journal: Life Sciences and Medicine Research
ISSN 1948-7886

Volume: 2011;
Start page: LSMR-22;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Dietary fiber | Digestive disturbances | Gluten | Triticum aestivum L. | Wheat bran | Wheat germ

Wheat is considered good source of protein, minerals, B-group vitamins and dietary fiber i.e. an excellent health-building food. Thus, it has become the principal cereal, being more widely used for the making of bread than any other cereal because of the quality and quantity of its characteristic protein called gluten. Gluten makes bread dough stick together and gives it the ability to retain gas. Wheat has several medicinal virtues; starch and gluten in wheat provide heat and energy; the inner bran coats, phosphates and other mineral salts; the outer bran, the much-needed roughage the indigestible portion that helps easy movement of bowels; the germ, vitamins B and E; and protein of wheat helps build and repair muscular tissue. The wheat germ, which is removed in the process of refining, is also rich in essential vitamin E, the lack of which can lead to heart disease. The loss of vitamins and minerals in the refined wheat flour has led to widespread prevalence of constipation and other digestive disturbances and nutritional disorders. The whole wheat, which includes bran and wheat germ, therefore, provides protection against diseases such as constipation, ischaemic, heart disease, disease of the colon called diverticulum, appendicitis, obesity and diabetes. To enhance the quality as well as the quantity of proteins/starches, and the content of vitamins, essential amino acids, minerals and other healthy components of wheat, it is essential to understand the molecular and genetic control of various aspects of plant growth and development.
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