With The Grain. Part Deux.

Part two of our journey into the grains. Did you know that most grains are of great benefit to your health? Certains grains are a good source of manganese or magnesium. Simply adding more grain into your diet can be beneficial in the long run for your overall health. Let’s see some more grains to try.

1. Amaranth
This tiny grain can be eaten as a sweet or savory dish. It has a mild peppery flavor. Amaranth is higher in minerals, such as calcium, iron, phosphorous, and carotenoids than most vegetables. It is high in protein and contains lysine, an important amino acid, which makes it a complete protein. Serve as a side dish tossed with herbs and olive oil. You can even eat it as cooked cereal just like oatmeal.

2. Quinoa
An ancient grain from South America, this tiny seed is valued for its high protein content. Quinoa comes in a variety of white, red, and black. Red and black quinoa are fuller in flavor and have an earthy herbal flavor. Quinoa is rich in amino acids and antioxidants. A good source of manganese magnesium, iron, copper, and phosphorous. Eating quinoa may even help migraine headaches, promote cardiovascular health. It may prevent cancer and heart disease. Store quinoa in an airtight container. Can be kept longer if stored in the refrigerator.

3. Buckwheat
Despite its name, buckwheat is not wheat but a gluten-free fruit seed related to rhubarb. It contains rutin, which strengthens capillary walls and is being studied for the ability to lower blood pressure. Buckwheat is a great source of manganese and magnesium as well as dietary fiber. The protein in buckwheat is a high-quality protein, containing all eight essential amino acids, including lysine.

4. Wild Rice
Wild rice is actually a grass and the only grain native to North America. This is a gluten-free food. Does not contain sodium which is good for your heart and blood pressure. Wild rice contains the bran, endosperm, and germ. It will take longer to cook than white rice and remains chewy even after cooking. It has a distinct nutty flavor to it. This grain is rich in antioxidants and has a high fiber content. A good source of essential minerals such as phosphorus, zinc, and folate. Also contains vitamin A, C, and E which are essential to your overall health.

5. Teff
This is a super tiny grain which was originally grown in Africa, specifically Ethiopa. Teff is gluten-free and high in calcium, iron, and vitamin C. Teff comes in a range of color from ivory to reddish brown. According to the Dr. Oz Show, teff is known to reduce PMS symptoms and help you lose weight. It’s ideal for vegetarians and vegans who are looking for other sources of protein. Teff has the ability to control blood sugar levels. Great dietary fiber content that will regular your bowl movements and keeps you full longer. The great thing about teff is how versatile it is. It can be eaten whole, steamed, boiled, or baked. Traditionally, teff was used to make Ethiopian Injera (sourdough bread).

6. Farro
Originally from Egypt, farro is a healthy whole grain that has been eaten for years in soups and salads in Italian cooking. Whole grains like farro are full of minerals including magnesium which can relieve tension and menstrual cramps. The complex cards break down slowly which can keep your energy level stable. The grain contains cyanogenic glucosides, a type of carb that may boost the immune system. Farro has a very high fiber content and nutrients such as zinc and vitamin B3. If you want to try this grain, cook it in as much water as you would in pasta. Farro has a nutty flavor with a bit of a kick. Can be dressed with pasta sauces or replaced as rice in paella.

7. Corn
Probably one of the easiest grain to prepare and find. Whole grain corn or cornmeal is a good source of vitamin B1, vitamin B5, vitamin C, folate, dietary fiber, manganese, and phosphorous. Eating corn can benefit your cardiovascular health and lung health. It has the ability to maintain your memory, prevent cancer and heart disease, and support energy productivity.

Stay tuned as we’ll knock out the rest of the grains in a part three of our journey with the grains. These grains should be simple enough to implement into your daily life. You can start slow and try new recipes. Most, if not all of these grains need to be stored in a cool dark area. Some can be stored in the refrigerator for a longer shelf life. Most of these grains can replace a pasta or salad dish. You can even add them in soup and replace them with your daily oatmeal. Try mixing your regular white rice up with some wild rice or brown rice. I hope you give some of these grains a try as there are so many health benefits in eating them.

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