What are wholegrains?

Wholegrains are made up of all three parts of the grain:

Bran – fibre-rich outer layer
Endosperm – middle starchy layer
Germ – nutrient-rich core


Courtesy of Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council Ltd. 2015


Why are wholegrains good for you?

Wholegrains contain an abundance of valuable, naturally occurring, nutrients and phytochemicals.


When you eat wholegrains, you get the complete package bursting with:

  • Good quality carbohydrates – to fuel the body
  • B vitamins – to help unlock energy
  • Magnesium – to reduce feelings of tiredness
  • Iron and zinc – to support mental performance
  • Fibre – to help keep you healthy on the inside
  • Protein – for muscle growth and maintenance
  • Antioxidants and phytochemicals – to help protect you from the stresses and damage caused by everyday life


It is understood that the combination of these nutrients results in health benefits in people who consume more wholegrains each day. Research has shown that diets high in wholegrain foods can reduce the risk of developing heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, and can help to reduce weight gain and lower the risk of being overweight.


How to choose wholegrain foods

Wholegrain foods are made from milled wholegrains as well as intact, cracked, flaked or puffed grains.


Look for the following ingredients: wholegrain, whole wheat, wholemeal, brown rice, barley, oats, rye, quinoa, millet, sorghum or triticale.



J Slavin. Why wholegrains are protective: biological mechanisms. P Nutr Soc 2003, 62:129–134.
Liu RH. Wholegrain phytochemicals and health. J Cereal Sci 2007;46(3):207–19.
Whole Grains Council (2013) Definition of Wholegrains. http://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/definition-of-whole-grains
GLNC (2010) Grains & Legumes Health Report. Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council (formerly Go Grain Health & Nutrition Ltd)