Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain is a grain product. Grains are divided into 2 subgroups: whole grains and refined grains.
MyPlate recommends making half of your grains, whole grains. Whole grains are nutritious and contain a fiber-rich outer bran layer, the nutrient-packed germ, and the starchy endosperm that refined grains don’t.
Benefits of Whole Grains
- Whole grains may reduce the risk of heart disease
- Fiber in whole grains can support healthy digestion
- Grain fortified with folate helps prevent neural tube defects when consumed before and during pregnancy
- Eating whole grains may help with weight management
Amaranth is a gluten-free whole grain! It’s also a complete protein meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids! Amino acids build muscles, transport nutrients, prevent illness, and much more!
Barely is full of fiber! Barely has a form of fiber that helps keep our blood sugar levels where they need to be; this helps us have energy throughout the day!
Oats are an underused whole-grain! They can be used for more than breakfast and oatmeal cookies! Add them to soups, meatloaf, or burgers! Oats help lower cholesterol and support our immune systems!
Quinoa, like amaranth is gluten-free and contains all the essential amino acids! Quinoa is an excellent source of magnesium and a good source of iron and folate! It’s also fun for kids because it comes in many different colors.
Last on our list today is teff. Have you heard of teff before? Teff is gluten-free and a great source of protein! It is rich in thiamin (a B vitamin) and a good source of fiber, iron, and magnesium. This grain is tiny with a mild nutty flavor.