Your Comprehensive Guide To Grains

Food: Nutrition

By: // March 8, 2017


Ever wonder which grains are best for you or which are gluten free? We've got your comprehensive guide to grains all laid out.

Along with adding depth to a meal — from their nuttiness to their texture — grains are a great addition to a healthy diet thanks to their various nutrients. There are two subgroups of grains: whole grains and refined grains. But health experts praise whole grains as the clear winner of the two, since they contain higher amounts of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, phytochemicals and fiber.

The U.S. Whole Grains Council attributes eating 100 percent whole grains to a reduced risk of stroke by more than 30 percent, a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes by 20 percent to 30 percent, a significantly lowered risk for heart disease risk factors, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, help with better weight management, a reduced risk of asthma, obesity prevention, and a reduced risk of many inflammatory diseases.

There are various whole grains (including gluten-free options!) that are both yummy and incredibly nutritious to add to your diet. Below are 12 grains to put on your radar.

1. Brown Rice

Definitely one of the most common grains on the list, brown rice is a simple, inexpensive and delicious add-on to many meals thanks to its soft texture and mildly nutty taste. The grain is a great source of manganese, selenium and magnesium. It’s also full of fiber, antioxidants and aids in the stabilization of blood sugar.

Ever wonder which grains are best for you or which are gluten free? We've got your comprehensive guide to grains all laid out.

  • These Cilantro Lime Shrimp Bowls are colorful concoctions of yumminess that will fill you up for hours without weighing you down.

2. Quinoa

Though it’s technically a seed and not a grain, it’s commonly considered a grain. A complete protein, it’s the perfect addition to a vegan’s diet. Quinoa is incredibly nutritious, offering high levels of vitamin E and calcium. This nutty, crunchy, earthy food is also gluten-free.

Ever wonder which grains are best for you or which are gluten free? We've got your comprehensive guide to grains all laid out.

Related: 13 Reasons You Should Be Eating Quinoa

3. Farro

Farro offers a very chewy texture and nutty taste. This ancient grain is a great source of protein, fiber and nutrients like magnesium and iron. Like all whole grains, it’s rich in complex carbohydrates, most notably dietary fiber — even more so than popular grains such as rice or quinoa.

Ever wonder which grains are best for you or which are gluten free? We've got your comprehensive guide to grains all laid out.

  • When you want to add a little extra texture and earthy flavor to your salad, give this Farro Green Energy Salad a try.

4. Wheat berries

Wheat berries offer a sweet nutty flavor and crunchy texture. They are whole, unprocessed wheat kernels containing bran, germ and endosperm of the kernel, making them extremely nutritional. Full of fiber, protein and B vitamins, they’re one of the less common grains of the group that make for a great base to so many dishes.

Ever wonder which grains are best for you or which are gluten free? We've got your comprehensive guide to grains all laid out.

5. Buckwheat

Despite its name, buckwheat is actually a gluten-free seed that’s packed with nutrients including protein and fiber. The seeds, also referred to as “groats,” are so rich in antioxidants like rutin, tannins and catechin, that the food often gets touted as a superfood. Its intense taste resembles darkly toasted bread that will certainly bring a unique flavor to recipes.

Ever wonder which grains are best for you or which are gluten free? We've got your comprehensive guide to grains all laid out.

6. Amaranth

Amaranth is another seed that’s often referred to as a grain! Along with being gluten-free and high in fiber, it also boasts protein that is more digestible than other seeds and grains, often being compared to the digestibility of milk protein. It has a gelatinous consistency when cooked, and a slight popping sensation when chewed.

Ever wonder which grains are best for you or which are gluten free? We've got your comprehensive guide to grains all laid out.

7. Barley

Barley is similar in taste to brown rice, but with a much chewier texture. This healthy grain is low in fat but high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals like manganese, magnesium and iron, and is a good source of plant-based protein. Even more, it scores very low on the glycemic index thanks to its rich fiber content.

Ever wonder which grains are best for you or which are gluten free? We've got your comprehensive guide to grains all laid out.

8. Millet

Millet has a mild, pleasing and very slight nutty taste. The gluten-free grain is chock-full of nutrients, including calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, magnesium, and has a high B-vitamin content. It’s also a great source of healthy essential fats.

Ever wonder which grains are best for you or which are gluten free? We've got your comprehensive guide to grains all laid out.

9. Spelt

Spelt, which has a sweet, nutty chewiness, may not be at the top of your grain list just yet, but it’s quickly gaining popularity thanks to its healthful qualities. Offering an array of nutrients like complex carbohydrates, vitamin B2, niacin, manganese, thiamin, copper, and magnesium, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more, it’s a light grain that offers a soft and tender touch to baked goods.

Ever wonder which grains are best for you or which are gluten free? We've got your comprehensive guide to grains all laid out.

10. Oats

Oats have been leading the grain train for what seems like forever. Touted as one of the healthiest grains on Earth, they’re a gluten-free whole grain that offer a plethora of important vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants into your diet. Health experts often recommend waking up with a bowl of oats to aid in your weight loss goals.

Ever wonder which grains are best for you or which are gluten free? We've got your comprehensive guide to grains all laid out.

11. Teff

This gluten-free grain has a deliciously rich nutty flavor. It’s high in fiber, a great source of protein, manganese, iron and calcium. It’s another one of those grains you may not be familiar with yet, but it’s ability to contribute to weight management is enough reason to swap it in and throw out the refined grains.

Ever wonder which grains are best for you or which are gluten free? We've got your comprehensive guide to grains all laid out.

  • This Blueberry Lemon Bread is a tasty treat that offers a bit of a nutrition boost from the addition of the teff flour.
Ever wonder which grains are best for you or which are gluten free? We've got your comprehensive guide to grains all laid out.

READ THIS NEXT: Does Bread Make You Fat?


Printed from GetHealthyU.com

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