Whole cereal grains are a good source of protein amoung vegan products. But do you know which one of them has the most protein available to our body? And here I’m not talking about a single generic value of protein on nutrition label of the product, but about the highest digestibility of the protein that our body really uses to function properly. By the way, the digestibility of proteins is best to measure by the DIAAS (the digestible indispensable amino acid) score.

A study was interested in the digestible protein of the whole cereal grains and investigated 9 of them in the cooked state. The investigated grains were brown rice, polished rice, buckwheat, oats, proso millet, foxtail millet, tartary buckwheat, adlay and whole wheat. The researchers used a mouse model and compared the digestibility of the protein from the cereals, using the TID (true ileal digestibility) value to determine net absorption of amino acids (the components of protein) and to be able to calculate the DIAAS score more accurately.

As a result, whole wheat turned to have the highest TID values, while polished rice, proso millet and tartary buckwheat had relatively low values. The TID indispensable concentrations of amino acids in whole wheat were greater than those of brown or polished rice. On the other hand, polished rice had the lowest total TID concentrations among the other cereal grains.

The calculated DIAAS scores revealed that buckwheat (68) was a much better protein source than tartary buckwheat (47), oats (43), brown rice (42) and polished rice (37). On the other hand, whole wheat (20), adlay (13), foxtail millet (10) and proso millet (7) had relatively low protein available to our body. Something to keep in mind, while balancing your diet!

Of course, more research is needed to compare the digestibility of whole cooked cereal grains in a mouse model with that in people. But, as you may know mice and rats are very similar to people genetically so the chance is big that the results of this study are representative for us.

Curious? HERE is the source

Tatsiana Haponava, PhD

a certified nutrition coach, educator and researcher with a PhD degree

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