They are called generically cereals all those vegetables that produce edible grains, and also their grains. These grains are usually the raw material with which flours are made, but they are also consumed as such, representing in one way or another a very important part of the human diet and the main source of carbohydrates that covers the energy needs of people. For example: rice, barley, corn, wheat.
Cereals have accompanied the human being since very remote times; it could be said that since the nomadic way of life was abandoned, characterized by the hunter-gatherer individual, to go on to live in sedentary communities that cultivated the land to produce food, man has cultivated cereals and has used them in different ways.
Already in ancient Egypt, wheat began to be cultivated, one of the great cereals of today.
Examples of cereals
- Burgundy wheat
- rolled oats
types of cereals
There are numerous cereals, each one adapted to different climatic conditions, so that practically in all latitudes it is possible to grow at least some type of cereal:
- The wheat, the barley and the oatmeal, for example, they prefer temperate climates and are widely cultivated in Europe.
- The rice or the corn they require warmer climates, which is why they are grown in areas closer to the tropics.
- The sorghum It is characteristic of Africa.
- The rye grows well in cold areas.
Botanically, cereals correspond to the grass family, monocotyledonous herbaceous plants.
These plants usually have hollow stems, long and rather narrow leaves that tend to hug the stem, and flowers grouped in inflorescences.
These flowers do not have petals and the fruits are indehiscent, that is, they do not open when ripe. A cereal grain has five parts:
- The embryo or germ
- the endosperm
- The aleurone layer
- the head
- pericarp or cover
The calls “fake cereals” are some vegetables that do not correspond to grasses, but that also have remarkable nutritional properties, which is why they have become highly demanded in certain markets, especially in environments where the teachings of indigenous communities are especially valued regarding food is concerned.
Located in this group are buckwheat, the quinoa and the amaranth.
cereals in the diet
Cereals are very valuable in the human diet because they meet the caloric demands of individuals as they are rich in carbohydrates, but they also provide important nutrients such as:
- Vitamins like E, of outstanding antioxidant capacity, and those of group B.
- minerals such as iron, magnesium and calcium.
- protein of different kind.
- Dietary fiber, so important for proper intestinal function.
In addition, they do not contain cholesterol or uric acid, and are often rich in polyunsaturated fats, which are usually highly beneficial. In addition to being consumed as flour, cereals can be consumed as flakes or chips, in bars, etc.