Did you know that it is suggested that the average person eat six, 1-ounce servings of grains each day? Before you start thinking about the number of carbs you’ll be consuming every day, it’s important to realize that whole grains are good for you. Much like vegetables, beans, nuts, and legumes, whole wheat is essential for the body in more ways than one.
Whole grains contain soluble fiber which is good for maintaining your heart health, appetite, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Those who consume the recommended amount of whole grains in a day have a decreased chance of developing heart disease. That’s not all. There is also a lot of antioxidants in whole grains which can help to reduce inflammation and have even been known to help fight cancer.
Top Whole Grains
There are so many whole grains to choose from and each has its own unique set of properties that make it worth adding to your diet. The best part is, it comes in so many different forms and works well in a ton of recipes that you should have no issues increasing your intake. Just what kinds of whole grains should you be consuming? Here are a few listed below:
Let’s start with a whole grain that most people are familiar with – whole wheat. Though not ideal for someone suffering from a gluten allergy, whole grain is rich in vitamin and nutrients and one of the most common found in your local grocery store. Just be sure that the options you’re choosing whether it’s bread, cereal, or pasta, that it says 100% whole wheat for the best health benefits.
If you need to get more fiber in your life then you’ll want to add this amazing grain to your diet. Bulgur, though a common staple for Middle Eastern recipes is the perfect whole grain to keep your digestive system regular. It cooks very easily which is always a plus.
Here’s another whole grain you may not have heard too much about – farro. It’s chewy texture and sweet taste make it perfect for recipes in restaurants around the world. Categorized as an ancient grain, Farro is packed with nutrition. It’s rich in fiber, protein, antioxidants, and key vitamins and nutrients like vitamin B, zinc, iron, and magnesium. Search the baking or health section of your grocery store for brands like Bob’s Red Mill farro. Though it has the appearance of rice, it actually tastes great in soups, salads, and other recipes.
If you’ve been trying to eat better then there’s a high possibility you’ve heard of the popular whole grain known as quinoa by now. Another ancient grain, quinoa is a complete protein containing the essential amino acids. Quinoa is easy and fast to cook and available in multiple colors with white and red being the most popular. It’s great to use as a replacement for white rice serving great as a stand-alone, with mixed veggies, or even in soups.
Who doesn’t enjoy a bowl of oatmeal or whole oats cereal on occasion? Whether you prefer old-fashioned or steel-cut, they’re great to fuel you first thing in the morning. Though high in fiber like other whole grains, whole oats contain beta-glucan which has been proven to lower cholesterol and improve heart health.
Though small in size teff is a whole grain even those with gluten sensitivities can enjoy. Yet again another ancient grain, teff is best described as a form of millet. If you’re in need of nutrients like calcium and iron, you’re going to want to add this to your diet as teff has more than any other grain. It’s ideal for making baked goods.
Last, but certainly not least on the list of whole grains you should incorporate into your diet, there’s buckwheat. Another gluten-free option buckwheat tastes great in soups and salads. If you purchase it in flour form, you can also make tasty treats like pancakes or waffles.
Whole grains are an essential part of your daily diet. Reducing your consumption of refined carbs and introducing grains such as those listed above can change your life for the better. When eaten on a daily basis you’ll begin to see an improvement in your digestive system, heart, and overall well-being. It also reduces your risk of chronic illness while giving you a daily dose of key vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you need to live a healthy life.