Nutrition Myths


Grain is a popular name of a botanical term “caryopsis” and an agricultural term used for crops harvested for human or livestock consumption that may include legumes such as beans.

Grain (as in caryopsis) is a one-seeded dry fruit (also commonly known as “kernel”) that doesn’t open when mature (indehiscent). The fruit component is dry, looks more like a woody layer (fruit wall) and is stuck together with the seed coat (the hard outer layer of a seed).

All members of the Grass family (Poaceae family) are typical caryopsis (or grains in a botanical sense) and include barley, oats, rice, rye, corn, sorghum, millet, and wheat (and its relative spelt). (1)

Example of a caryopsis: a sweet corn round grain is a kernel (fruit) and the ear of the corn is just a collection of those fruits (kernels).

In the day-to-day communication, we think of grains as “cereal grains” – those dry fruit which share similar culinary use and nutritional characteristics and include either the Grass family Poaceae or pseudo-grasses (such as quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat). Legumes such as beans, however, may be referred to as grains in some agricultural contexts since it is usually considered under Legume food group. Grains on this website refer to the culinary “cereal grains”.

Related Posts

Are fruit juices healthy? There are 6 reasons why fruit juices are not healthy, contrary to what is believed. These negative effects outweigh the health benefits derived from the nutrients of fruit juices.
Difference between simple and complex carbohydrates Simple carbs and complex carbs can be clearly defined in a biochemical context but in a nutritional context has no practical use due to ambiguity of its meaning and lack of consistency between definition sources.
Fiber List of high fiber foods and recommendations of how much fiber per day you should eat.
Do potatoes raise blood glucose level more than sugar? Potatoes contain mostly glucose and table sugar half glucose and half fructose. Since glucose raises blood glucose levels more than fructose a standard serving of potatoes has a greater impact on blood glucose than table...
What is grain? Did you know it is a dry fruit? A grain is a fruit which contains a seed, according to the biological definition. It looks like a seed because the fruit component is thin, dry and fused to a hard seed coat.

Get updates

Receive regular updates on nutrition myths, facts and curiosities. All based on the latest scientific evidence.