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Despite the low-carb craze, whole grains continue to be a critical component of a healthy diet. When you hear the term “whole grains,” do you think instantly of whole wheat? While whole wheat is a healthful and tasteful grain, it’s not by a long shot the only one.

The benefits of whole grains

Whole grains are inexpensive and may be stashed away for a long time in their whole form. Here’s a listing of a few of the “alternative” whole grains, their health benefits, and a few hints on how to use them.

Some of the best whole grains:

1. Oats

Whole oats – rolled, steel cut, or groats – make a nutritious, high-fiber, cholesterol-lowering breakfast. Oats are also anti-inflammatory, making them a fine pick for those who suffer from allergies or colitis. If you would like to integrate oats into your diet in different ways, try grinding whole oats into flour (or buying oat flour) and adding it to baked goods. Replace 1/4 of each cupful of flour demanded in a recipe with oat flour.

2. Barley

This is an ancient grain. Most barley is traded as “pearled” barley, which implies that it has had its hull removed. It’s really digestible and may be added to soups, particularly beef-based soups. Barley flakes are a different form of this healthful grain, and may be consumed as a hot cereal.

3. Millet

This is the sole alkaline grain, making it ideal for acidic conditions of the body. Its small, yellow, round seeds may be used in place of rice or couscous in recipes, or cooked and enjoyed as it is. Whole grains such as cooked, cooled millet may be blended with sauteed veggies or meat and shaped into croquettes.

4. Brown rice

Brown rice is the whole grain form of white rice. Whole grains such as brown rice are easy to digest, rich in fiber and free of gluten, establishing it as a sound option for those on gluten-free diets. It contains the crucial vitamin thiamin, or B1, and heightens cognitive function.

Substitute brown rice with white rice in any recipe that calls for rice, but make certain to allow for the added cooking time required for brown rice (about forty-five minutes in a saucepan; about twenty minutes in a pressure cooker).

5. Amaranth

This mustard seed-like fruit isn’t, botanically, one of the whole grains, but due to it’s healthy benefits, we’re going to lump it in here with the other whole grains. Like barley, it’s an ancient food, having been used by the Aztecs. It’s higher in protein and calcium than milk, and it contains magnesium and silicon which heightens calcium assimilation.

It’s an superior food for folks who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or otherwise committed to activities that incinerate numerous calories. It’s gluten-free, yet can be added to bread along with wheat flour. It forms a sticky, sweet breakfast cereal once cooked.

6. Buckwheat

Buckwheat is botanically a seed, yet is regarded one of the whole grains and is handled as such in foods. It’s likewise gluten-free and high in the antioxidant vitamin E. Buckwheat groats make a satisfying breakfast cereal. Buckwheat flour may be utilized to make hotcakes, and it may be cooked and used as a ground meat replacement in stuffed-vegetable dishes like cabbage rolls or bell peppers.

7. Quinoa

High-protein quinoa has a nutty flavor, and is a different instance of one of the ancient whole grains that’s botanically a seed. Quinoa is high in manganese and iron. It needs to be washed thoroughly before cooking to get rid of the bitter saponins that naturally coat it. Quinoa’s mass increases fourfold when it’s cooked, and may be used interchangeably with rice, millet, or couscous.

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Dee Braun

Dee is an Adv. Certified Aromatherapist, Reiki Master, Adv. Color/Crystal Therapist, Herbalist, Dr. of Reflexology and single mom who is dedicated to helping others any way she can.

One way she chooses to help is by offering information on the benefits and uses of natural health and healing methods for the well-being of both people and pets.