The health benefits of whole grain breads
Dear Readers: We’ve all heard that when we choose bread, we should consider whole grain for its health benefits. To learn more about what whole grain means, we turned to the Whole Grains Council (www.wholegrainscouncil.org), and here’s what we found:
A whole grain is, as you would imagine, the complete seed (industry term: kernel) and is comprised of three layers: the bran — the outermost layer of the kernel, containing fiber, B vitamins and antioxidants; the germ — contains more B vitamins, healthy fats and the embryo, which can sprout into a new plant; finally, the endosperm — contains carbs and proteins.
Whole grain bread is healthier because it contains more fiber, protein and important vitamins and minerals, while refining the grain strips away the bran and the germ. Foods labeled whole grain must have all three layers.
P.S. Nutrition pros say to consume at least half of your grains as whole grains. — Heloise
TOUGH TO LET GO
Dear Readers: Do you feel sentimental about some of your possessions, but know it’s time to let some things go? Take a picture of the items and create a folder for them on your phone or computer. Having photos helps keep the memories of those items while allowing you to sell, donate or throw them away. — Heloise
Dear Readers: Many of us may be challenged when it comes to caring for a flowering garden or indoor houseplants. There is an easy and fun solution: the air plant (genus: tillandsia).
An air plant has a minimal, if any at all, root system (the roots are atrophic, which means dry). And don’t worry about planting an air plant in soil. They simply won’t grow in soil. Instead, in the wild, they latch on to branches, rocks and even telephone wires.
Some bloom in beautiful reds, yellows, pinks and purples, and most air plants are pollinated by hummingbirds drawn to the bright colors.
To care for an air plant at home, soak it in water for one hour, once per week, and dry it on a towel for a few hours.
Air plants do need light, so you shouldn’t tuck them into a bookcase or set them on a fireplace mantle, but they prefer diffused light instead of direct sunlight. They are so easy to care for, and a nice alternative for those of us without a green thumb. — Heloise
LETTER OF LAUGHTER — MESSY MAN
Dear Heloise: I’m a single man, and my house is, I’ll admit it, kind of a mess: lots of clothes and other items strewn around. I’ve come up with a plan for when that doorbell rings and someone wants to visit.
I have three large boxes in the closet. I set the boxes out and it simply looks like I’m sorting things for donation to charity! — Mike in Kentucky
Mike, my mother, the original Heloise, would surely get a chuckle out of this! — Heloise
Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.