Wheat germ is the portion of the wheat seed responsible for the growth and development of a new plant. It makes up about 2.5 percent of the wheat kernel's weight. The germ is loaded with concentrated nutrients to help maintain the new sprout, providing essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E. Wheat germ can be eaten raw or toasted. Try it sprinkled on cereal, yogurt, smoothies or add it to your favorite bread recipes.
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Wheat germ contains 4.53 mg of vitamin E per 1 oz. serving, according to the United States Department of Agriculture's nutrient database. Wheat germ oil provides even more vitamin E per serving, with just 1 tbsp. containing 20.3 mg. One tablespoon of wheat germ oil provides more than the recommended daily allowance of 15 mg of vitamin E.
Vitamin E Benefits
Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that provides antioxidant protection. It decreases the production of free radicals, which damage cells and may lead to cancer and other chronic diseases. Vitamin E aids in the formation of red blood cells and aids in immune function. It is available naturally in foods, particularly nuts and vegetable oils.
The benefits from eating wheat germ go beyond just the vitamin E. Wheat germ also provides B vitamins such as riboflavin and niacin, which are required for metabolism and a healthy nervous system. An one ounce serving of toasted wheat germ cereal provides 4.3 g of fiber, which is essential for healthy bowel functions. Wheat germ also contains 8 mg of protein per ounce. Protein is needed for muscle growth and maintenance.
Storing Wheat Germ
Wheat germ has a high oil content and can go rancid if stored at room temperature for long periods of time. For best results, store in the refrigerator or freezer for up to six months to avoid spoilage, insect infestation and to retain its nutrients.