Refined grains are the products consisting of grains or grain flours that have been significantly modified from their natural composition.
Three servings of whole grains per day can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes, and certain cancers. According to one study, eating whole grains in place of refined grains can reduce the abdominal fat, excess of which can raise blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and even cause insulin resistance leading to diabetes.
Whole grains are an important part of healthy diet. Below are 17 grains that can be great additions to your diet:
Indian rice grass or Montana (brand name) : It is a staple of Native American diets. Pure Indian rice grass flour is super high in protein(17 grams) and fibre(24 grams), in just 2/3 of a cup. It can have an intense wheat-like flavour.
Red rice: The red colour is due to a type of yeast growing on rice grains. Chinese use this grain to cure digestion, digestion, and for spleen health. Now, red rice extract is also gaining popularity in the US for its cholesterol-lowering properties, high in fibre content, nutty taste. When mixed with other foods, it gives beautiful pink or red colour to the dish.
Amaranth: A protein powerhouse. It contains 30 % more protein than cereals like rice, sorghum, and rye. This grain is rich in fibre and a great source of the amino acid lysine and nutrients like magnesium, calcium, and squalene (a compound that may help to avoid cancer). Also, has cholesterol-lowering potential.
Khorasan or Kamut (brand name): It’s a great source of proteins (11 grams per cup), as well as nutrients like selenium, zinc, and magnesium and is also rich in antioxidants. As a wheat species, it is unsuitable for those with celiac disease.
Barley: It contains eight essential amino acids. According to a 2006 study, whole-grain barley can regulate blood sugar for up to 10 hours after consumption. Barley contains gluten, which makes it an unsuitable for those with celiac disease.
Millet: Millets are rich in B vitamins (especially niacin, B6, and folic acid), calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Millets do not contain gluten, therefore people having celiac disease/ or other forms of allergies/intolerance of wheat can replace wheat with millet. Millets are also a mild thyroid peroxidase inhibitor hence people with thyroid disease should not consume it in excess quantities.
Freekeh: It is a type of wheat with a smoky flavour. Freekeh has up to four times as much protein as brown rice. It is low on the glycemic index, high fibre, beneficial for colon health and can be prepared similarly to rice.
Teff: A nutritional punch.
calcium – one cup contains 12 percent of the daily recommended value
vitamin C (not often found in grains)
It is also gluten-free, making it perfect for those with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. It is primarily made of high-resistant starch, which helps to prevent colon cancer. They travel in the large intestine, where bacteria feed on them and create fatty acids that make the environment less welcoming to bacteria that can harm the colon.
Emmer/Farro: A half-cup of farro has more fibre and fewer calories than brown rice or quinoa. Great Basin Brewing Company produced a limited brew made from emmer, Egyptian Ale. However, emmer is probably unsuitable for sufferers from wheat allergies or coeliac disease.
Sorghum: It can be used as flour in baked goods, cooked into porridge, popped like popcorn, or used to make beer. One study found it is even higher in polyphenol antioxidants (generally involved in defence against ultraviolet radiation or aggression by pathogens) than the super foods blueberries and pomegranates. It is a gluten-free grain that can be a great option for those with celiac disease.
Bulgur: It is a derivative of wheat and is made by boiling, drying, and cracking wheat kernels. With 8 grams of fibre per cup, bulgur beats out quinoa, oats, millet, buckwheat, and corn in that category.
Fonio(a tiny type of millet): It’s rich in amino acid methionine, which helps the liver to process fat and cysteine. It contains protein keratin that makes up our hair, nails, and skin. It helps to remove toxins from the liver and brain. Fonio is also one of the grains highest in magnesium, zinc, and manganese.
Spelt: It is a type of wheat with 17.0 percent protein and as well as dietary minerals and vitamins. As it contains a moderate amount of gluten, it is not suitable for people with coeliac disease.
Triticale: It is a hybrid of wheat and rye. It can help to lower cholesterol and have significant antioxidant contents.
Buckwheat: It is a herb not a type of wheat. It has a high concentration of all essential amino acids especially lysine, threonine, tryptophan, and the sulphur-containing amino acids. Buckwheat may also help lower cholesterol levels by binding to cholesterol molecules and dragging them out of the body on its way through the digestive system. It can also be helpful in treating diabetes. Buckwheat is the main ingredient in most soba noodles and the pancakes.
Rye berries: Rye contains a peptide called luna sin, which could play a role in cancer prevention. Rye fibres are more effective than the wheat fibre in improving bowel health.
Wheat berries: This is a way to get wheat in its most natural form as only the hull is removed. One half-cup serving is a great source of selenium, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, and lignan (a phytochemical that may help protect against breast cancer). They are a great addition to soups and stews. Since wheat berries are quite literally whole wheat, they are more filling than a similar amount of food made with wheat flour.