Properties of Cereals and How They Impact the Body

The properties of cereals are many. For one, they're a source of energy you can take advantage of to start the day off on the right foot. And if they're natural, without sugar or sweeteners of any kind (such as oatmeal), even better.
Properties of Cereals and How They Impact the Body
Sergio Alonso Castrillejo

Written and verified by the pharmacist Sergio Alonso Castrillejo.

Last update: 12 May, 2022

We’ve always been told that cereals have many health properties and so they’re very important for our bodies. Wheat, rice, oats, corn, corn, barley, and rye are some of the most consumed worldwide, although others are also consumed, such as millet and canary seed, for example.

So, you’ve probably also heard that cereals are necessary to stay healthy, but why? Furthermore, what exactly can they provide you with? How much and how often should you eat them to obtain their benefits?

In this article, we’ll answer your questions and take a look at just that.

Contents of cereals

Grains that are made from seeds are rich in various nutrients that the body needs to perform its daily functions properly.

Grains are rich in carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. Carbohydrates are essential in our diet since they provide us with the energy necessary to make it through the day.

A smörgåsbord of grains.

The carbohydrates in grains are called “complex carbohydrates,” and they help to slowly release glucose into the body. Therefore, they help maintain your energy all day and keep you feeling full.

Minerals such as iron, zinc, or selenium, among others, help with cognitive functions. Therefore, they help you perform better in school or at work. Finally, vitamins help to keep us from getting sick, provide us with energy and help with our development.

The properties of cereals and celiac disease

According to the experts of the Spanish Association of Cereal Manufacturers, “celiacs have an intolerance to the proteins that form gluten, gliadin, and glutenin. This is because these exist in all cereals except corn, rice, sorghum, and millet”.

They add that “the cereals most commonly used for the manufacture of breakfast cereals are wheat, corn, rice, and barley. Therefore, a celiac can indeed eat breakfast cereals”.

At your discretion, you should only try to choose those that don’t have gluten, such as corn or rice breakfast cereals.

Tye properties of commercial-brand cereals and grains

A woman dumping sugar on her cereal.
Some commercial-brand cereals include many unhealthy sugars.

Cereals and grains are often part of many people’s breakfast. However, not all cereals are healthy. Commercial cereals, which are rich in sugars and other artificial substances, are very popular. However, they aren’t the best option. So, health and nutrition experts recommend whole-grain cereals. Oatmeal is one of the most recommended.

There are a large number of cereals and you must know how to choose the one that best suits you.

How to eat them

These foods can be included in various forms, from salads to stews, and from breakfast to dinner. Furthermore, they’ll provide you with energy and satiety to endure the rhythm of the day-to-day. So including them in your diet, in moderation, will help create good eating habits and a varied and balanced diet if eaten together with meats, fish, vegetables, dairy products, etc.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Mora, R. J. F. (2002). Evaluación nutricional. In Soporte nutricional especial.

  • Vera. (2008). Cereales, Legumbres, Leguminosas y Productos Proteínicos Vegetales. Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Alimentaciòn y la Agricultura.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.