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Wheat is the most important staple crop in temperate zones and is in increasing demand in countries undergoing urbanization and industrialization. In addition to being a major source of starch and energy, wheat also provides substantial amounts of a number of components which are essential or beneficial for health, notably protein, vitamins (notably B vitamins), dietary fiber, and phytochemicals. Of these, wheat is a particularly important source of dietary fiber, with bread alone providing 20% of the daily intake in the UK, and well-established relationships between the consumption of cereal dietary fiber and reduced risk of cardio-vascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and forms of cancer (notably colo-rectal cancer). Wheat shows high variability in the contents and compositions of beneficial components, with some (including dietary fiber) showing high heritability. Hence, plant breeders should be able to select for enhanced health benefits in addition to increased crop yield.
PMID: 27610232 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]