15 Healthy Grains and Why You Should Eat Them More
What does your typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner look like?
Do these meals include healthy grains?
If you’re not eating grains daily, you are missing out on the numerous health benefits that these foods offer.
The questions are - what healthy grains you should be eating, how much is enough, and why should you be eating these grains daily?
Usually when people think of grains they consider things like wheat, rice and oats. However there's an abundant variety available to us. Today, you're going to learn why healthy grains are important to add to your diet daily.
Benefits of Eating Healthy Grains
Grains are a staple in most diets and have been cultivated and consumed for a very long time. They've been used throughout history to make bread and we can even find the Importance of Bread in the Bible and in Our Lives withing scripture
A study conducted by the University of Calgary archaeologists, discovered evidence of grains as humans’ primary source of food centuries ago.
As new research emerges, it's not hard to understand why. In fact, Research Confirms "Bread of Life" is a Perfect Picture.
However that's not the only use of grains in cultures around the world. Today, a number of these crop varieties feed millions of people on the planet, and these grains include wheat, corn, and rice, to name a few.
What makes these grains so valuable?
Prevents Cardiovascular Disease
Grains contain soluble fiber that aids in regulating your cholesterol levels. The fiber content in grains reduce your chances of getting a stroke or a heart attack. (1)
Helps Ward off Cancer
Healthy grains are rich in phytoestrogens that protect you from certain types of cancer.(2) This is a natural way to achieve health while enjoying the food you eat.
Feeds Your Body with Essential Nutrients
Grains are packed with nutrients needed by your body to thrive. Some of these minerals include selenium, magnesium, manganese, and copper. There are also B vitamins in healthy grains that keep your brain and nerves healthy.
Fights off Depression and Anxiety
There are a number of causes for anxiety and depression. However, if these conditions are due to a deficiency in B vitamins, consuming grains can help you improve your mental and psychological health. Instead of snacking on foods rich in refined sugar, consuming meals with healthy grains can help you feel calmer and happier.
Reduces the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Grains such as quinoa and millet are naturally low on the glycemic index. Eat more of these foods instead of your sugary pastries and refined white flour pastas and breads to help you manage your blood sugar levels.
Improves Digestive Health
To achieve optimum digestive health, you need grains to facilitate the elimination of wastes. Healthy grain also aid in the nutrient absorption from the food you eat. Be sure to get in a good amount of insoluble fiber in your diet, which what healthy grains contain.
Promotes Wellness and Longevity
The healthier you are, the more chances you have of living a long and meaningful life. In fact, a study made by the Iowa Women’s Health showed how healthy grain consumption is linked with longer life due to fewer deaths caused by cancer and cardiac arrest.
Helps with weight loss
Do you want to lose weight without feeling deprived of food? Eat your healthy grains daily and feel satiated longer. It's a great way to counter cravings and over eating!
Ensures Regular Bowel Movements
If you are suffering from constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or similar conditions, you need fiber to put your bowel movement back on track. Consume healthy grains daily including rice, quinoa, spelt, and amaranth that can help your elimination become normal again.
Here are 15 of the best healthy grains God made for you and I to enjoy with some details on how to prepare them, and what they do to for body.
This poppy-seed sized grain is a botanical cousin to quinoa, and has been a revered crop of the ancient Incas and Aztecs. It has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor.
It works best where a cohesive texture is desirable, as in spoon breads, casseroles, loaves, or hot cereals. You can even add cooked amaranth leftover to muffins or quick breads.
Barley is a short, stubby kernel with a hard outer shell. Pearled barley has the outer layer removed. Barley flour makes excellent pie crusts and cookies. It also mixes well with rice flour. It is the whitest of the whole grain flours and has a mild taste. It has no gluten and cannot be used with yeast.
Even though wheat is in the name, buckwheat is a crop of it's own belonging to the grass family. Buckwheat groats are most often used as the basis for kasha. This flour has a stronger flavor than many other flours and is most often used in pancakes, waffles, and quick breads. Light in color and texture, buckwheat flour can be made by placing hulled buckwheat groats in a blender and blending them into flour.
Made from corn and popcorn, cornmeal is used primarily in cornbread, polenta, and mush. Only use organic corn due to the high percentage of GMO corn grown.
Einkorn is the earliest form of cultivated wheat, allegedly found in the tombs of ancient Egypt. It is unique in flavor, nutritional benefits and genetic makeup. Where modern wheat has 42 chromosomes, Einkorn has only 14.
Einkorn is about 50% higher in protein than modern wheat yet its gluten structure makes it tolerable by some people with wheat sensitivities. Einkorn has 25% more riboflavin than modern wheat. It contains vitamin B2, which stimulates the metabolism and assists in the digestion and absorption of fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
It also has higher beta carotene, lutein, and vitamin A. Einkorn is also a great source of minerals including zinc, manganese, potassium, phosphorus and iron. Einkorn bakes similar to spelt.
Emmer is one of the three hulled wheats known in Italy as farro. Its main use is for human food, though it is also used for animal feed. In recent years, farro has been enjoying a resurgence in popularity among gourmets and the health-conscious, who sing the grain’s praises for its high nutritional value and adore the hearty, flavorful taste of the “Pharaoh’s Wheat”.
Rich in fiber, protein, magnesium, and vitamins, emmer contributes to a complete protein diet when combined with legumes, making Emmer grains and pastas ideal for vegetarians, (or for anyone simply looking for a plant-based high-protein food source).
Millet was a staple food in many countries before the use of rice. It has a high-quality protein and is rich in calcium, iron, and potassium. It is also very easy to digest. It is often used as a morning cereal or in soups, stews, casseroles, stuffing, and puddings. Millet flour tends to be heavy and bland in flavor. Oven temperatures should be reduced by twenty-five degrees for millet flour products.
Oats are an ideal cold-weather crop. They are second to amaranth and quinoa in protein, and rich in calcium, phosphorus, and iron. Since they have a slightly higher fat content, they produce a sense of warmness. Oat flour works well with cookies and pie crusts.
You can make oat flour by putting rolled or quick oats in the blender and blending until it is flour-like. Whole groats can be eaten uncooked for a chewy snack.
My friend, Joyce Rogers, says the secret to her bread is adding 1 cup oat flour to the mix of wheat flour. This makes softer, richer flavored bread.
True pumpernickel is coarsely ground rye flour. Most commercial pumpernickel breads have a white flour base with added rye flour for color and flavor.
High in protein and fiber, quinoa is rich in all the 9 essential amino acids your body needs. This is why it is a great food for building muscles and feeling fuller for a longer time. It is also rich in magnesium that helps with migraine headaches.
Traditionally grown in the Andes, the quinoa plant bears tan grains about the size of sesame seeds. Quinoa is similar to amaranth nutritionally; it yields a fluffier texture with a distinct flavor. Quinoa flour has a stronger flavor and is best mixed with other flours. Quinoa is a great replacement for rice in your regular dishes. See The Healthy Treasures Bible Diet Cookbook for delicious recipe options.
Quickly becoming the most popular grain due to the rise in gluten intolerance, rice is mostly thought of in the varieties of white and brown. This is far from reality since rice comes in 18,000 different varieties! Even brown rice comes in seven different bran colors such as: white, light brown, speckled brown, brown, red, variable purple and purple (black).
The design of rice is the same as wheat. It has the outer covering known as the bran which includes the nutrients of fiber, vitamin B, minerals and protein.
The second part is the endosperm which includes the carbohydrates and more protein and vitamin B. Finally, the germ has the highest amount of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. With all these nutrients rice can easily move from the side dish to the main course. It is in itself a complete protein with all amino acids present.
Rice and Rice Flour
Flour made from brown rice can be gritty in texture and taste, but it is excellent for thickening gravies and sauces. Baked products made only from rice flour tend to be crumbly. Brown rice flour works very well when mixed with barley flour.
- All brown rice flour should be stored in the refrigerator to preserve the oil in the bran.
Spelt is thought to be the most ancient of cultivated wheats. It is higher in fiber and protein than wheat and is easily digested. Spelt is favored by many people with wheat and gluten sensitivities since it is more tolerated. It has a nutty aroma and flavor. The gluten content is more fragile than wheat, so it should be kneaded less in yeast recipes.
Triticale is much like rye and wheat, with a slight rye flavor to it when baked. Among the benefits of eating this grain include a healthy digestion, heart health, improved circulation, asthma protection, and strong bones.
You can find titicale in cereals, as well as in the form of flour, crackers, flakes and breads. Great as a breakfast dish or for lunch, triticale is a great addition to your diet.
How to Store Grains to Prolong Their Shelf Life
Whole grains should be kept in airtight containers in cool, dry places.
They will last this way for a year or more.
Placing a few bay leaves on top can help keep the grains bug free.
If the grains are to be kept for a longer period of time, they should be kept in a five-gallon bucket with a “gamma-lid” for easy access. Five-gallon buckets can be purchased at local hardware stores, and gamma lids can be ordered from internet outlets.
Some people have even acquired good icing containers from bakeries to use. These work perfectly for grains, beans, and other dry goods. Ask nicely and you may get one or more for free.
Nutritious Grains Recipes to Try and Cooking Suggestions
Are you ready to start making amazing dishes made from these healthy grains?
If so, please check out these easy and simple but highly nutritious grains recipes that you and your family will absolutely love!
Try These Nutritious and Tasty Grains Recipes
Different Ways to Cook and Prepare Grains
Cooking grains is so quick and simple!
You can also choose from various ways of cooking methods depending on the recipe you have in mind. Here are a couple of tips:
To dry roast, add the grain to an ungreased pan and place it over medium heat. Shake or stir the pan continuously for three to six minutes. Remove the pan from the heat before the grains become too dark and start to burn.
You can use grains such as quinoa and millet as a substitute for your rice.
Simply steam these grains just like how you cook your rice. For an added flavor, you can substitute beef, vegetable or chicken stock for all or half of the water called for in your recipe.
As a suggestion, you can loose some of the delicate flavor of the grains by replacing over half the water called for in a recipe with stock. If you want those flavors to shine through, I recommend only substituting half. I also suggest using a low-sodium stock if you buy it canned—the full-strength commercial stocks are extremely salty.
Enjoy Your Grains and Reap Excellent Health Benefits to Your Body!
Healthy grains are not just delicious but they will help your body and mind to thrive
Whether you want to lose weight, maintain your desired weight, have more energy, or reduce risks of various illnesses, eating more grains is the best way to go.
So be sure to include these healthy grains to your shopping list and weekly recipes to get all the benefits that these grains offer!
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