Important vitamins in whole grains

Important vitamins in whole grains

As you will learn in most of our blog posts, flour ground from the whole grain contains many very important nutrients. The fact that cereals contain not only essential macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) but also a large number of necessary micronutrients (minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals) makes the consumption of whole grain and products made from it more than recommendable. Important vitamins in whole grains

Today we will let you know which important vitamins can be found in whole grains. These are B vitamins, vitamin E and also beta-carotene. [1]

The endosperm makes up the largest part of the grain in terms of quantity. It consists mainly of starch, while the outer layers and the germ contain all the nutrients that are important for the human body. The vitamins in the grain are also found in the outer layers and the germ, which contains “[…] five times more vitamin B1 and ten times more vitamin E than the endosperm [and] also the provitamin A carotene […]”.[2]

The vitamin content can vary both within and between cereals. An example of this would be vitamin E: the vitamin E content is 2 mg per 100 g of maize kernel. In comparison, 100 g green spelt contains only 0.3 mg.[3]

If one let cereal grains germinate, a new synthesis of vitamins may occur. For example, vitamin C, which is otherwise not found in cereal grains, can be produced during germination. A study by Yang et al. (2001) showed that in addition to vitamin C, the content of vitamin E and beta-carotene as well as ferulic and vanillic acid can also increase.[4]

Today you have learned which important vitamins are contained in whole grains – namely B vitamins, vitamin E and the provitamin A beta-carotene. And that is why we would recommend the consumption of whole grain products.


[1] Koerber, K., Männle, T., Leitzmann, C. (2004): Vollwert-Ernährung : Konzeption einer zeitgemäßen und nachhaltigen Ernährung. Stuttgart: Haug, S. 245

[2] Münzing-Ruef, I. (2000): Kursbuch gesunde Ernährung. Die Küche als Apotheke der Natur. München: Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, S. 298


[4] Yang, F., Basu, T.K., Ooraikul, B. (2001): Studies on germination conditions and antioxidant contents of wheat grain. Int J Food Sci Nutr, 52(4), 319-330