Whole wheat is super healthy and has been known for years. But, its health benefits depend on the form in which you are consuming it.

100% whole wheat food contain the wheat germ and the bran. So, when you eat the whole wheat food, you gain the many wonderful health benefits that come with the grain. Whole wheat in its original form is one of the richest sources of dietary fiber, manganese and magnesium.

wheat can be a rich source of various antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Nutrition facts

Wheat is mainly composed of carbs but also has moderate amounts of protein.

Here are the nutrition facts for 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of whole-grain wheat flour (1Trusted Source):

Calories: 340

Water: 11%

Protein: 13.2 grams

Carbs: 72 grams

Sugar: 0.4 grams

Fiber: 10.7 grams

Fat: 2.5 grams


Like all cereal grains, wheat is mainly composed of carbs.

Starch is the predominant carb in the plant kingdom, accounting for over 90% of the total carb content in wheat (1Trusted Source).

The health effects of starch mainly depend on its digestibility, which determines its effect on blood sugar levels.

High digestibility may cause an unhealthy spike in blood sugar after a meal and have harmful effects on health, especially for people with diabetes.

Similar to white rice and potatoes, both white and whole wheat rank high on the glycemic index (GI), making them unsuitable for people with diabetes (2Trusted Source, 3).

On the other hand, some processed wheat products — such as pasta — are digested less efficiently and thus don’t raise blood sugar levels to the same extent (2Trusted Source).


Whole wheat is high in fiber — but refined wheat contains almost none.

The fiber content of whole-grain wheat is 12–15% of the dry weight (1Trusted Source).

As they’re concentrated in the bran, fibers are removed during the milling process and largely absent from refined flour.

The main fiber in wheat bran is arabinoxylan (70%), which is a type of hemicellulose. The rest is mostly made up of cellulose (4Trusted Source, 5).

Most wheat fiber is insoluble, passing through your digestive system almost intact and adding bulk to stool. Some fibers also feed your gut bacteria (6, 7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).

What’s more, wheat contains small amounts of soluble fibers, or fructans, that may cause digestive symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (9Trusted Source).

By and large, though, wheat bran may have beneficial effects on gut health.


Proteins make up 7–22% of wheat’s dry weight (1Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).

Gluten a large family of proteins, accounts for up to 80% of the total protein content. It’s responsible for the unique elasticity and stickiness of wheat dough, the properties that make it so useful in breadmaking.

Wheat gluten can have adverse health effects in people with gluten intolerance.


Carbs are the main nutritional component of wheat. Still, this grain harbors significant amounts of fiber, which may aid your digestion. Its protein mostly comes in the form of gluten.

Vitamins and minerals

Whole wheat is a good source of several vitamins and minerals.

As with most cereal grains, the amount of minerals depends on the soil in which it’s grown.

Selenium. This trace element has various essential functions in your body. The selenium content of wheat depends on the soil — and is very low in some regions, including China (11Trusted Source, 12).

Manganese. Found in high amounts in whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, manganese may be poorly absorbed from whole wheat due to its phytic acid content (13Trusted Source).

Phosphorus. This dietary mineral plays an essential role in the maintenance and growth of body tissues.

Copper. An essential trace element, copper is often low in the Western diet. Deficiencymay have adverse effects on heart health (14Trusted Source).

Folate. One of the B vitamins, folate is also known as folic acid or vitamin B9. It’s particularly important during pregnancy (15Trusted Source).

Some of the most nutritious parts of the grain — the bran and germ — are absent from white wheat because they’re removed during the milling and refining process.

Therefore, white wheat is relatively poor in many vitamins and minerals compared to whole-grain wheat.

Because wheat accounts for a large portion of people’s food intake, flour is regularly enriched with vitamins and minerals.

In fact, enrichment of wheat flour is mandatory in many countries (16).

Enriched wheat flour may be a good source of iron, thiamine, niacin, calcium, and vitamin B6, in addition to the above nutrients.

Other plant compounds

Most of the plant compounds in wheat are concentrated in the bran and germ, which are absent from refined white wheat (4Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).

The highest levels of antioxidants are found in the aleurone layer, a component of the bran.

Wheat aleurone is also sold as a dietary supplement (18Trusted Source).

Common plant compounds in wheat include:

Ferulic acid. This polyphenol is the predominant antioxidant in wheat and other cereal grains (17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source).

Phytic acid. Concentrated in the bran, phytic acid may impair your absorption of minerals, such as iron and zinc. Soaking, sprouting, and fermenting grains can reduce its levels (20, 21Trusted Source).

Alkylresorcinols. Found in wheat bran, alkylresorcinols are a class of antioxidants that may have a number of health benefits (22Trusted Source).

Lignans. These are another family of antioxidants present in wheat bran. Test-tube studies indicate that lignans may help prevent colon cancer (23Trusted Source).

Wheat germ agglutinin. This protein is concentrated in wheat germ and blamed for a number of adverse health effects. However, lectins are inactivated with heat — and thus neutralized in baked goods (24).

Lutein. An antioxidant carotenoid, lutein is responsible for the color of yellow durum wheat. High-lutein foods may improve eye health (25 Trusted Source).

Health benefits of whole-grain wheat

While white wheat may not be particularly beneficial to health, whole-grain wheat may offer several positive effects — especially when it replaces white flour.

Gut health

Whole-grain wheat is rich in insoluble fiber, which is concentrated in the bran.

Studies indicate that components of wheat bran may function as prebiotics, feeding some of the beneficial bacteria in your gut (8Trusted Source).

However, most of the bran passes almost unchanged through your digestive system, adding bulk to stool (6, 7Trusted Source).

Wheat bran may also shorten the time it takes undigested material to travel through your digestive tract (4Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source).

One study found that bran can reduce constipation risk in children (27Trusted Source).

Yet, depending on the underlying cause of the constipation, eating bran may not always be effective (28Trusted Source).

Prevention of colon cancer

Colon cancer is the most prevalent type of digestive system cancer.

Observational studies link the consumption of whole grains — including whole wheat — to a reduced risk of colon cancer (29Trusted Source, 30Trusted Source, 31Trusted Source).

One observational study estimated that people on low-fiber diets could cut their risk of colon cancer by 40% by eating more fiber (31Trusted Source).

This is supported by randomized controlled trials, though not all studies have found a significant protective effect (6Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source).

All in all, whole wheat is rich in fiber and boasts a number of antioxidants and phytonutrients that potentially reduce your risk of colon cancer (23Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source).

Celiac disease

Celiac disease is characterized by a harmful immune reaction to gluten.

An estimated 0.5–1% of people in the United States and Europe have this condition (34Trusted Source, 35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source).

Celiac disease damages your small intestine, resulting in impaired absorption of nutrients (37Trusted Source, 38Trusted Source).

Associated symptoms include weight loss, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, and fatigue (36Trusted Source, 39Trusted Source).

It has also been suggested that gluten may contribute to brain disorders in people with celiac disease, such as schizophrenia and epilepsy (40 Trusted Source, 41 Trusted Source, 42 Trusted Source).

Einkorn, an ancient wheat variety, causes weaker reactions than other varieties — but is still unsuitable for people with gluten intolerance (43Trusted Source).

Adhering to a gluten-free diet is the only known treatment for celiac disease. Although wheat is the main dietary source of gluten, this protein can also be found in rye, barley, and many processed foods.

Source: Healthline