Germinated grains: A superior whole grain functional food?

Kristina Nelson, Lily Stojanovska, Todor Vasiljevic, Michael Mathai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Citations (Scopus)


Grains are global dietary staples that when consumed in whole grain form, offer considerable health benefits compared with milled grain foods, including reduced body weight gain and reduced cardiovascular and diabetes risks. Dietary patterns, functional foods, and other lifestyle factors play a fundamental role in the development and management of epidemic lifestyle diseases that share risks of developing adverse metabolic outcomes, including hyperglycaemia, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, oxidative stress, and inflammation. Whole grains provide energy, nutrients, fibres, and bioactive compounds that may synergistically contribute to their protective effects. Despite their benefits, the intake of grains appears to be lower than recommended in many countries. Of emerging interest is the application of germination processes, which may significantly enhance the nutritional and bioactive content of grains, as well as improve palatability. Enhancing grain foods in a natural way using germination techniques may therefore offer a practical, natural, dietary intervention to increase the health benefits and acceptability of whole grains, with potentially widespread effects across populations in attenuating adverse lifestyle disease outcomes. Continuing to build on the growing body of in-vitro studies requires substantiation with extended in-vivo trials so that we may further develop our understanding of the potential of germinated grains as a functional food.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-441
Number of pages13
JournalCanadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Germinated
  • Grain
  • Malted
  • Metabolic
  • Whole grain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology (medical)


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