Did you know that choosing the right grains to consume can have a huge impact on your health? Truthfully, I didn’t either until I began giving up carbohydrates and sugar.
Then I began to notice how my body and health were changing. It also stunned me at how quickly my health was improving.
But I know that my body still needs carbohydrates in smaller portions which include grains. I know now that I must choose wisely which grains I choose to introduce into my diet.
Which is why I’m going to share with you a list of healthy grains you can choose from to include in your diet. These grains can be raised yourself (if you have the land) or you can purchase them.
But remember, we only have one body so we must treat it right. Hopefully, this list will help you to do that.
Healthy Grains you can choose from:
1. Whole Wheat
Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past decade, then you’ve probably heard that eating processed flour isn’t good for you. Our bodies break it down way too quickly.
Which in turn causes our sugar to increase drastically. This leads into a whole different set of problems including obesity, high blood sugar, and much more.
In short, if you have the option to choose whole grain, then do it. It requires more to break it down so our body isn’t flooded with glucose all at one time.
2. Whole Oats
I love oats. The reason is that they are simple. You don’t have to search for anything that specifically says ‘whole oats.’ When you buy oatmeal it has been processed whole.
So it makes buying the right stuff so much easier. Just avoid oatmeal that has high fructose corn syrup. That is the only real stipulation you need to follow.
But know that oats are good for you because they are a great anti-oxidant. This will help rid your body of excess toxins that can throw your whole body out of sorts. Oats are also great for your heart too.
3. Brown Rice
I originally gave up carbs because I was putting on too much weight too quickly. Much to my surprise, my husband’s cardiologist told him to give up carbs. So we did.
But after losing weight and reintroducing the right carbs into my diet, I realized rice was a huge culprit of our unhealthy weight problem.
See, I was pairing rice with a lot of dishes because it was inexpensive and filling. White rice is quick to fix but it also breaks down quickly in my body. Which was leading to everything I told you about when discussing whole wheat.
Therefore, when eating rice, go with brown rice. It may take longer to prepare, but it is a great anti-oxidant. Plus, you lose around 75% of the nutrients in rice when eating white rice because of how it is processed.
4. Whole Rye
I didn’t use to know a lot about rye. I knew my great-grandmother who almost lived to be 90 years old ate it all of the time.
But I also knew it was darker in color and a lot stiffer than the bread I was used to. As I look back, I know there was probably a reason why my great grandmother lived so long. She took care of her body by eating whole grains.
Rye is no exception. It actually has more nutrients per every 100 calorie serving than any other grain that I’ve come across. That is really saying something.
I laughed the first time I heard the name of this whole grain. It may sound like a crazy name, but if you are like me and try to follow a lower carb diet, then you might want to check this whole grain out.
So freekeh is actually a low carb whole grain. It also has four times more fiber in it than brown rice. That is really saying something.
6. Whole Grain Barley
I love barley. It is great to go in many different recipes, and it is healthy for you too.
But if you have a cholesterol problem, you should really begin eating whole grain barley regularly. According to the USDA, if you eat a half cup of barley each day, your cholesterol will decrease by up to 10% in comparison to those they studied and did not eat whole grain barley daily.
So needless to say, this whole grain is a great option to be added to your daily grain intake.
You have not had good pancakes until you have a buckwheat pancake. The best part, it is actually good for you.
Also, if you suffer from a gluten allergy don’t think that whole grains are completely off limits for you. Buckwheat is usually one of the grains that those who suffer from a gluten allergy can actually consume.
Now, the results vary, but it may be worth a try. I have a gluten sensitivity, and I can eat buckwheat pancakes with no problem. And I’m so glad because they are so delicious.
There are some things in this life that you think are just little miracles that we all should try to consume. One of those things is Apple Cider Vinegar (at least in my book.)
But bulgur is another one. It actually loses 5% of the bran while processing this grain. Yet, it still packs a ton of health benefits regardless.
So if you need a natural way to up your iron, magnesium, protein, and fiber, then look no further than bulgur because it can do all of that for you.
This grain is spelled nothing like it sounds. I made such a fool out of myself the first time I tried to pronounce this grain. After being corrected, I’ll probably never forget how to pronounce it again.
Actually, quinoa is a seed instead of a grain. Yet it packs more protein with it than any other grain.
So it is definitely worth a mention on this list. It is also very heart healthy as it has a lot of omega-3 fatty acids which are great for your heart.
10. Whole Wheat Couscous
People are starting to choose different varieties of grains to include in their daily meals because we are trying to be more health-conscious as a society. At least I think we are.
And I applaud this because we should take care of our bodies, and we sure should be more concerned about what we are allowing into our bodies as well. Which is why I think couscous deserves a bit of a discussion.
As you add this grain into your diet for a little ‘grain variety’ keep in mind that it is important to choose whole grain couscous over the regular refined kind. The reason is that you will actually get 5 extra grams of fiber from simply making that one easy decision.
11. Whole Corn
When I think of whole corn, I think of my livestock. I know that is a random connection, but I feed them whole corn as part of their daily grains. My chickens especially love it.
But obviously, we aren’t going to start pecking into whole corn like a chicken does. So how do we go about consuming whole corn in our diet?
Well, the easiest method is to eat it as popcorn. You will need to grow the popcorn yourself or at least purchase the organic non-GMO kind. Then pop it on your stove. Corn is an excellent anti-oxidant, it helps to keep diabetes at bay, is good for your gut health, helps to ward off chronic inflammation and heart disease, and it is also high in vitamin B, phosphorous, and magnesium.
So in case you needed a few reasons to add popcorn to your diet, there you go. Just stay away from the store-bought kind as the bags have chemicals in them that are not good for you.
Are you looking for a whole grain that will really help in multiple ways? If so, then millet could be what you’ve been looking for.
Millet is a great source of magnesium which has many great benefits to it. One I’ve found by upping my own magnesium is that it usually helps reduce sugar cravings which help maintain a healthier diet.
But millet can also help your body repair tissue damage. It helps to prevent breast cancer and gallstones too. It is a whole grain that really works for you.
Spelt is another whole grain that will really work for you. It is also a whole grain that doesn’t usually upset a person with wheat allergies. Again, results may vary so use caution when trying this out.
But spelt is also a great source of magnesium, protein, copper, and zinc. Who knew whole grains could bring so many benefits to the table with them?
Amaranth is an old, old whole grain. It actually dates back to thousands of years ago when it was grown by the Aztec’s.
But now this whole grain has made its way around the world and North America is actually one of the last places it is making its way back to.
However, amaranth is such a great whole grain because it is gluten-free and can be enjoyed by those (usually) with a gluten allergy. It also has a lot of nutrients and amino acids that our bodies need while not bringing a lot of carbohydrates with it.
This is a very old grain. It actually goes all the way back to the Fertile Crescent. It provides many of the same nutrients as whole wheat does.
But since it is closely related to the wheat family it does contain gluten.
However, since it is part of the whole wheat family, the carbohydrates that this grain brings with it are indeed complex which means your body will not be able to break it down quickly and flood your body with glucose.
Kamut is another ancient grain. It is also closely related to the modern-day wheat.
But the difference is that this grain brings 40% more protein with it than our modern whole grain wheat. That is a lot of extra protein.
Also, it is known for producing high amounts of energy because it contains a higher percentage of lipids. Lipids provide more energy than carbohydrates which explains the increased energy of those who consume this whole grain.
Teff is a very small grain, but it goes a long way. It is said that you need only a small handful of teff to plant a large area of it.
But this grain also is known for its high amounts of fiber, protein, manganese, calcium, and iron. Because of these attributes, teff is known to help people maintain weight, increase strength in bones, and also increase circulation.
So there you have it – 17 different whole grains to choose from that will hopefully improve your health.
But I’d love to know what grains you eat on a regular basis? What are the benefits that you’ve experienced eating healthy whole grains?
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