Cereals are fruits (grains) of cultivated plant species from the family of grasses (Poaceae) including buckwheat, suitable for direct human consumption and processing into mill, bakery, pasta and similar products.
Cereals for processing into mill products, husking, finished cereal products and direct human consumption must be ripe, healthy, free of foreign odors and tastes and impurities of mineral, vegetable and animal origin.
Cereals are classified as basic foods, and the history of their presence in the human diet begins in the period before the new era. The most important types of cereals are grown on almost half of all arable land on the planet, and modern man cannot imagine a complete and quality meal without them.
The nutritional value of cereals is reflected in the high content of carbohydrates, proteins, cellulose, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fats.
Cereals, in fact, contain good or complex carbohydrates that have numerous benefits for your health. Complex carbohydrates are made up of a chain of simple sugars, and it takes a little longer to break down into simple sugars.
Cereals grown around the world. The most important cereal grown for human consumption. Grain is mainly used for flour production.
Wheatlands are considered to be areas of southwest Asia. It moved from there for years to be planted in Egypt 3000 years ago. With the development of the plow, mass production of wheat began, but production also increased with the number of inhabitants on the planet. With the discovery of the pyramids in Egypt, jars were found in which this grain was located, which, although it remained in jars for thousands of years, retained its shape and color.
Wheat is sown in early spring and harvested in summer, in early July. During the harvest, care is taken that the grains are dry, otherwise they cannot be stored or ground into flour. During the harvest, the grains are separated from the stem, and the straw-shaped stalks can later be used in the stables as a base for the floors as well as for animal feed.
Namely, whole grains contain the best combination of healthy ingredients, which can only contribute if they are preserved from processing that removes the most important part of the grain. One whole grain of wheat has its outer, firm shell in the form of bran, which is rich in cellulose fibers, minerals and vitamin B.
Inside the husk is the endosperm – the largest part of the wheat grain that contains starch, proteins, healthy fats and vitamins. In one whole grain of wheat, the share of good carbohydrates is as much as 70%, while proteins take up 10%, and fats, minerals and vitamins between 1 and 2% of the total composition.
Oats (Avena sativa)
Just one whole grain of oats contains about 7% protein in its composition, with a rich content of amino acids.
However, unlike the other cereals, this does not contain a significant amount of carbohydrates, so its energy value is somewhat lower.
However, the minerals contained in it are extremely numerous, and we should not neglect vitamins A, then B vitamins, as well as vitamins E, K and H.
Barley (Hordeum vulgare)
Barley is an annual plant from the grass family. It is one of the most widespread cereals. It has been used in the diet since ancient times, but it is best known as one of the basic ingredients in beer production.
The cultivation of barley began in the earliest times, in the areas of North Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East. In Egypt and Mesopotamia, barley was grown for food, but over time, the production of beer also developed, in the production of which barley plays an important role. Today, it is very common in kitchens in the preparation of soups, salads, pastries and stews.
If we leave barley to germinate, its nutritional value increases. It is rich in vitamins, especially vitamin B12, which is not present in other cereals and vegetables. Barley contains starch, proteins, cellulose, vitamins and minerals.
Corn ( Zea Mays)
Corn is also a very common cereal, and was once one of the most common human foods. Over time, it began to be used more as animal feed, but it did not completely withdraw from the human diet, due to its healthy properties.
Corn originates from Central America, where the Aztecs used it in their diet, and mostly for making tortillas. Columbus brought him to Europe after his first trip, where he quickly got used to the new climatic conditions.
The Aztecs cooked corn kernels in boiling water, and then added coal and lime to make it easier to remove the protective membrane. Then, with the help of a stone disk, they would grind the grains and cook them again on a stone slab. Initially, corn served as fodder for cattle and was grown exclusively in smaller gardens, however, the method of preparation changed its nutritional characteristics.
In Europe, it was used exclusively for the production of corn flour, as well as all other cereals.
What makes it a very useful part of the diet are carbohydrates and proteins in its composition, and corn oil is specific due to the content of linoleic acid, phytosterols and vitamin E.
Rice (Oryza sativa)
The oldest plant culture grown by humans. It originates from the African and Asian continents. It is the backbone of human nutrition in Asia, but it is also increasingly used around the world.
Rice is one of the oldest foods, known since 5000 BC. Annual ceremonies dedicated to rice were held in China as early as 2300 BC. It is believed that rice originates from India and Thailand.
Currently, about 1000 types of rice are grown in the world. Apart from food, rice is also used in industry, medicine and cosmetics. It is grown in humid and tropical regions. The largest producer of rice is Asia, where rice is mostly used in the diet. Since ancient times, rice has been used not only in nutrition but also as a medicine in folk medicine.
In relation to the size of rice, we divide it into small, medium and large. & Nbsp; The color of the grain can be white or brown. Today, in the world, white rice is mostly used. After harvesting, the rice is stored in containers and containers that cannot be reached by air.
Today, rice is an indispensable cereal in many dishes, especially in Asian cuisines. It is added to soups, stews, salads as well as a side dish in many dishes. In recent years, integral rice has been increasingly used.
Rice is a good source of fiber. Rice is also rich in carbohydrates and low in fat. It also contains vitamin B, potassium and phosphorus.
Like white and brown rice, it is equally useful for humans. A cup of white rice contains approximately the same number of calories as brown, but has much less fat (0.8 g in white compared to 2.4 grams in brown). On the other hand, brown rice has a much higher fiber content (2.8 grams of dietary fiber in brown rice, 0.6 grams in white). Most other nutrients are the same in both types.
Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum)
Buckwheat is an annual herbaceous plant. Although its structure is a herbaceous plant, it is classified as a cereal because of the seeds that are used in human and animal nutrition. It does not contain gluten but a gluten-like protein.
Buckwheat is native to Central Asia.
The specificity of buckwheat lies in the fact that it does not belong to the family of grasses like other cereals, but it is classified among them due to other characteristics that bring it closer to other cereals.
Buckwheat seeds consist of two parts, a membrane used to fill pillows and an inner part used to produce flour and beverages. It is sown after the end of the frost season. The ideal period for sowing is May. The stalk of buckwheat can grow up to 60 cm in height. 20-30 days after flowering, buckwheat grains get a dark color and can be removed. It is grown on less moist soil and the nectar from the flower is used by bees to produce quality honey.
The vitamins in buckwheat are those from the B group of vitamins, and vitamin B2 predominates among them.
The bioflavonoid rutin is what significantly distinguishes buckwheat compared to other cereals, because it is an extremely medicinal ingredient.
In recent years, buckwheat flour has been widely used in the diet for the production of bread and pastries due to the absence of gluten in buckwheat grains.
Spelt ( Triticum spelta)
The nine-millennium-old cereal Triticum spelta, originally from South Asia, is spelled similar in appearance to wheat, so it is also called ancient wheat, although its outer shell is much harder.
It belongs to the cereals from the Triticum family, which includes today’s wheat. Spelled was formed long before today’s wheat varieties, most likely by natural crossing of certain types of grass and natural selection. Remains of spelled dating from 5000 BC to 2500 BC.
It is assumed that the hardness of the grain was the reason for this cereal to slowly go into oblivion. It is believed that we owe gratitude for her survival to the fact that she was irreplaceable in the diet of thoroughbred, thoroughbred horses.
Research showing that many people who are allergic to wheat are not allergic to spelled is also responsible for re-entering the food scene.
Spelt is far richer in its nutritional composition than ordinary wheat, which we use every day in our diet. In addition to being rich in vitamins and minerals,spelt contains more glue than ordinary wheat, so it stretches better and makes bread and pastries easier to knead.
Millet is definitely another in a series of cereals and neglected foods that can be called a super food due to its properties. Most of us, when millet is mentioned, think of feeding animals, mainly cattle and poultry, pet parrots, they know that millet is their staple food. Millet has been used in human nutrition for thousands of years, it has been neglected for a long time, and today it is returning to our tables at the big door, especially among the supporters of healthy eating.
The first traces of millet lead us to the time before the new era. A 4-year-old tomb filled with millet was found in a 4,000-year-old tomb discovered in northern China. It was used in the diet of the ancient Greeks, Romans and Gaelic peoples. It was used to feed babies and newborns by cooking porridge from whole grains and then passing it. Before the appearance of corn, millet was used to prepare delicious proja. Millet was peeled, ground and used in the daily diet.
Millet is a grain of small round shape and hard skin with which the yellow grain is wrapped. When used in human nutrition, the membrane needs to be removed. Millet is a very abundant, adaptable and fertile grain that has saved many nations from starvation. Today, because of its characteristics, it is mostly grown in developing countries, in populated poor countries, where its cultivation is stimulated precisely in order to solve the problem of food shortages. It is mostly grown and used in India, certain areas of China and poor African countries. It is favored because of its nutritional and healing properties, but also because of its easy cultivation and abundant yield. It thrives in areas where the climate is not conducive to other types of cereals, it is mostly grown in countries with dry and warm climates.
It is a cereal with a pleasant, sweet taste and resembles nuts. It is as tasty to humans as it is to animals, so it has been used for centuries for their diet. Millet is rich in plant fibers. It is also rich in proteins and plant proteins.
It contains a vitamin B complex, significant amounts of niacin, riboflavin and thiamine. Then, vitamins A, C, D and E in significant quantities. Of the minerals, it contains everything that is most important for the normal functioning of the organism, and it stands out especially for its high concentration of phosphorus. Millet also contains potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, sodium, fluorine and iodine.
Fonio is a type of millet that has been growing and used in Africa for centuries, and nowadays it is increasingly popular in Western countries. The two most common varieties are white and black. It is very similar to quinoa, and has a mild, nutty taste that makes it a versatile ingredient. It does not contain gluten and is very rich in nutrients, which is why it is a superfood.