What is wheat germ?
Wheat germ is the embryo part of the wheat kernel or seed. It has all the vital nutrients needed to produce a sprout of wheat. If you soak a wheat kernel in water and keep it moist, a sprout will emerge at the germ. This “germ” has a high concentration of nutrients to support growth. That’s why it’s good for you. When wheat kernels are milled into flour, the wheat germ is easily separated from the other parts of the flour. In this form it’s called raw wheat germ. It is light-colored and flakey. When toasted, it becomes a golden brown color with a crunchy nutty flavor. Some people prefer the taste of the toasted wheatgerm.
Nutritional breakdown of wheatgerm
Wheat germ — toasted and untoasted — has a high concentration of folic acid, which is a necessary nutrient for all pregnant women to prevent neural-tube defects. It also contains small amounts of B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. But don’t forget the protein and fiber in wheat germ. According to the USDA Nutrient Data Lab, the nutrients for toasted and untoasted wheat germ are about the same:4 tablespoons of toasted wheat germ provides approximately
- 108 calories
- 4 grams fiber
- 3 grams fat
- 8 grams protein