Wheat Berries: A Staple for Salads of All Seasons

May 3, 2017
By: Kathleen Walters


The Facts About Wheat Berries

The spring and summer months provide the perfect opportunity to try some new salad dishes that combine a variety of flavors and textures.  Wheat berries are one grain in particular that provides a chewy and fun addition to any salad.Wheat berries are a nutty, nutrient-dense whole grain that can be used all year long in a variety of dishes.  One serving (1/4 cup dry) of wheat berries provides about six grams of protein and six grams of fiber.  Wheat berries also provide a good source (10% of the recommended daily value) of protein, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, thiamin, and niacin and an excellent source (20% of the recommended daily value) of, selenium and 50% of the daily requirement of manganese.

As a whole grain, wheat berries contain the bran, germ, and endosperm of the grain, as opposed to refined grains, which mainly contain only the endosperm portion of the grain.  The bran is the outer layer of the grain that contains antioxidants, phythochemicals, fiber, B vitamins, and minerals such as iron, copper, magnesium, and zinc.  The germ is the inner layer of the grain which also contains B vitamins, antioxidants including vitamin E, minerals, phytochemicals, and healthy fats.  The endosperm is the middle layer that contains carbohydrates, protein, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Wheat Berries For Your Health

Research has shown that whole grains may play an important role in chronic diseases that are some of the leading causes of death in the United States. They may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease while helping individuals with weight maintenance. The soluble and insoluble fiber, in particular, have specific health benefits. Soluble fiber lowers blood cholesterol by binding bile, slows glucose absorption, slows the transit of food through the upper gastrointestinal tract, holds moisture in stools and softens them, yields small fat molecules after fermentation that the colon can use for energy, and increases satiety.  Insoluble fiber increases fecal weight, speeds fecal bulk and passage through the colon, and provides feelings of fullness. Like many whole grains, wheat berries provide both soluble and insoluble fiber.

Below are a few wheat berry salads that can add fun and variety to your next salad:

Try this wheat berry, grilled corn and spinach salad from Betty Crocker:



Savor this wheat berry waldorf salad from Spicy Southern Kitchen.

Make a honey chicken salad with wheat berries, grapes, and feta.



Indulge in colorful fruits and veggies with this Vegetarian Spring Wheat Berry Salad from Vegetarian Adventures.

Enjoy this light and fresh wheat berry salad from Spoon Fork Bacon.


Whatever the recipe, wheat berries provide a unique texture and flavor that make any salad appealing.