Every celebration needs a stellar closing act, and National Nutrition Month is no exception. Wednesday, March 29 marks the Sixth Annual Whole Grain Sampling Day—a day that offers people a chance to delight in the unique textures and flavors of whole grains. Restaurants, universities, and supermarkets across the nation are planning a multitude of special promotions like serving low- or no-cost whole grain items, special menu items and tastings, social media giveaways, and more.

Organized by the Oldways Whole Grains Council (WGC), a Boston-based nonprofit, last year’s celebration prompted millions of Americans to taste a whole lot of delicious, healthy whole grains and the momentum continues this year. 2017 partners planning events and promotions include ShopRite, FoodCorps, Bob’s Red Mill, Hodgson Mills, Bruegger’s Bagels, and many more.

“Once hidden in the health-food aisle, whole grain products, such as those made with whole wheat, quinoa, or farro, are now reaching mainstream appeal,” says Kelly Toups, RD, program director for the Oldways Whole Grains Council. Whole Grain Sampling Day offers customers an excellent excuse to sample some of the new whole grain products and menu items that have been developed in the last few years.

Studies show that switching to whole grains lowers the risk of many chronic diseases and is associated with numerous health benefits. In a February 2017 randomized trial, scientists assigned 81 healthy adults in Boston to diets with either whole grains or refined grains for six weeks, keeping all other foods and nutrients consistent between the groups. Although people were supposed to maintain their same body weight, the whole grain group significantly improved their metabolism over the six-week study compared with the refined grains group, burning 92 more calories per day.

While benefits are most pronounced for those consuming at least three servings daily, some studies show reduced risks from as little as one serving daily—so every whole grain helps. The easiest way to identify whole grains is to look for the Whole Grain Stamp, which guarantees a product has at least half a serving of whole grains. The Whole Grain Stamp now appears on 11,000-plus products in 55 countries.

To take advantage of one of these special promotions and sampling events, visit the Whole Grain Sampling Day page of the Whole Grains Council website for a complete listing and map of activities and opportunities. Join in the whole grain conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #SampleWholeGrains.

Events, Industry News