Including whole grains in your diet is an important way to ensure that you’re getting the nutrients your body needs. There are many different whole grains to choose from, so finding ones that fit into your lifestyle and taste preferences should be easy. Here are six whole grains you should consider adding to your next meal.
Amaranth is a plant that produces grain-like seeds that have been eaten as a cereal or whole grain food for thousands of years. It has approximately the same amount of protein as whole wheat and is a rich source of calcium, iron, phosphorus, thiamine, zinc and dietary fiber. It can be used whole in pilafs or porridges or ground into flour for baked goods.
An Ancient Incan Superfood, quinoa was originally cultivated by the people of Peru more than 5,000 years ago. It can be used whole in pilafs or porridges or ground into flour for baked goods and is a good source of calcium. Quinoa is gluten free, a complete protein and a very versatile whole grain.
3) Brown Rice
Brown rice has been called a whole grain but actually isn’t because the whole kernel is not retained when processing. It is whole in that it still contains all parts of the grain, unlike white rice which has had its fiber-rich bran and germ removed. Whole grains are generally healthier than refined ones because they provide more nutrients and keep you feeling satisfied for longer periods of time. Brown rice can be used whole in pilafs or whole grain salads or ground into flour for baked goods.
4) Wild Rice
Wild rice is not actually a whole grain but rather the seed of an aquatic grass native to North America. It can be used whole in pilafs, stuffings and soups or ground into flour for baked goods. It’s high protein, gluten free and a good source of fiber, iron and thiamine.
A relative of rhubarb, buckwheat is not actually a whole grain but the seed of an annual herbaceous plant related to rhubarb. It’s used whole in soups or whole grain salads or ground into flour for baked goods because it’s gluten free and high in fiber, manganese and magnesium.
A whole grain that is native to Africa and Asia (not North America like wild rice), millet was once called “the golden grain of prosperity” because it thrived in harsh climatic conditions where other crops struggled to survive making it one of the earliest whole grains to be cultivated. Millet is whole in that it still contains all parts of the grain, unlike white rice which has had its fiber-rich bran and germ removed. It can be used whole in pilafs or whole grain salads or ground into flour for baked goods and it’s a good source of magnesium.
Grains have been a traditional food in whole grain form for centuries. It is only relatively recently that they have been processed and refined to create products such as white rice, white flour and cornmeal. In whole grain form, whole grains are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and fiber while being low in fat and containing no cholesterol. They also provide whole-body benefits like reducing the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.