Whole grains are a source of many of the essentials for a healthy diet‌, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. As long as you are consuming the whole kernel and avoiding the refined products you find in white bread, sugary cereals and other junk food, you will find that healthy whole grains will protect you against the risk of heart problems, colon cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and a huge range of other conditions. With this in mind, here are 5 superpowers of the whole grain world….

Barley

If you have been told that you need to reduce the amount of cholesterol in your blood, then increasing the amount of barley in your diet is more than likely going to help. According to the Agriculture Research Service, the amount of soluble fiber that is present in barley helps control your cholesterol levels, while its low glycemic index level means it won’t cause spikes in your blood sugar.

Corn

Corn is packed full of health-improving goodness, including vitamins B1, B5 and C, as well as phospherous, folate, and the highest level of antioxidants in any vegetable or grain. It’s particularly good for the health of your eyes, too: the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin have been shown to help prevent chronic eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.

Millet

Millet is often used as an popular ingredient for bird food, but if you can look beyond that there are some serious health benefits. Not only does it offer you a wonderful source of magnesium and phospherous, which help keep your bones healthy, but a single cup of millet contains a whopping 8 grams of protein – essential for the health and growth of your muscles – which is just as much as you get from a cup of milk.

Quinoa

If anything deserves the name ‘superfood’ it could be quinoa. It’s packed to the brim with vitamins B, C and E, iron calcium, essential amino acids, and beta-carotene, which helps protect the body from all kinds of conditions, from certain types of cancer to sunburn. It’s also great as a source for protein.

Rice

If you eat rice, then make sure it is of the whole grain variety. Whole-grain rice is a great source of antioxidants, iron and B-vitamins, which are needed by the body to break down fats, and protect the skin, hair, eyes, mouth and liver.