Learn about types of cereal. Cereals are either the edible seed or fruit of a grass which can be consumed as food to give us energy. Cereals are angiosperms and monocots of the order poales belonging to the family poaceae. As whole grains the cereals provide vitamins, carbohydrate, proteins, minerals, fats and oils. Various types of cereal generally form the substantial part of a daily diet.
The different types of cereals are counted as one of the most important types of cereal, rice forms the staple food for a large percentage of human population as it is consumed in the heavily populated Asia and West Indies. As rice is linked to prosperity and fertility it is common to see rice being thrown in weddings in Oriental countries. Rice is an annual plant which requires ample water to grow. There are 3 main forms of rice: brown, red and white rice consumed by the people. Rice is generally high on carbohydrates, low on sugar, dietary fibres and fat and has moderate amount of protein and water.
Maize which is also known as corn is the staple food of people in Africa and America. It is also used for livestock consumption worldwide. Apart from being used as food it also used as alternative medicines, chemicals and bio-fuel. Maize is the largest grown among the types of cereal crop in the world. It cannot grow in cold regions and so is mostly grown in temperate regions and as their roots are shallow they depend upon the soil moisture for water. Though rich in sugar it also provides carbohydrates, protein and dietary fibre.
Wheat is one of the important types of cereal in the temperate regions. Though it is consumed worldwide it takes an important place in the diet of people living in North America, Australia, Europe and New Zealand. Wheat originally belonged to the Ethiopian highlands and is now cultivated in all the parts of the world. This grain is cultivated mainly for human consumption and is second to rice but ahead of maize. The whole grains of wheat are a main source of vitamins, minerals and proteins while its refined variant is mainly starch. Wheat is used for making cookies, cakes, pasta, noodles, bread etc. Its fermentation is done to produce beer and various other alcoholic beverages. Wheat can also be used to make bio-fuel.
Barley is primarily grown as annual fodder and is also malted for beer and few other distilled beverages. It is popularly grown in temperate regions as summer crop and in tropical regions aw winter crop.
Sorghum is grown in tropical and sub-tropical regions of Asia and Africa. It is also known as millet, jowar, Sudan grass in various parts of the world. A principal source of energy, proteins, vitamins and minerals Sorghum finds its maximum demand as poultry feed and then as cattle feed and in breweries.
Oat finds its maximum use in livestock consumption. Rolled oat and oatmeal form a part of human diet. Oats are considered to be a health food with healthy cholesterol. Since it contains more of soluble fibre compared to the other grains it gives the body a feeling of being full for a longer period of time.
Apart from the types of cereal mentioned above there is an exhaustive list which include Triticali, Rye, Buckwheat, Fonio, Quinoa.