11 Gluten-Free Grains for Better Health
More and more people are realizing that they either have celiac disease, or gluten sensitivity, or just don’t do well on wheat.
This at first seems overwhelming since wheat is everywhere in our culture, but a little research will show there are many great alternatives.
Gluten free millet provides a host of nutrients, has a sweet nutty flavour, and is considered to be one of the most digestible and non-allergenic grains available. It is one of the few grains that is alkalizing to the body. Millet has always been a favorite grain of mine since I discovered it in my hippy days in the 70s!
Read about millet’s 12 health benefits, some interesting trivia and history, 10 tips how to use it, and 3 delicious millet recipes.
We use millet in our Healthy BootCamps. Besides all the health benefits, it is tasty and economical.
Quinoa is a Powerfood Vegetable Seed! Although referred to as a grain, it is actually a seed from a vegetable related to Swiss chard, spinach and beets. Quinoa is pronounced keen-wa not kwin-o-a. Learn its benefits, history, tips and cautions. Read all here: 8 Health Benefits of Quinoa – the Mother Food
3. Brown Rice:
Rice feeds the world! Three billion people worldwide depend on rice for over half of their daily calorie intake. Most of them eat white rice. Find out all the benefits of rice and which is better, white or brown at Brown Rice vs White Rice: Benefits and Cautions
4. Cornmeal whole grain (not corn starch):
Cornmeal is an excellent source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamin B-6. And cornmeal is good for: weak digestion, heart disease, high blood pressure, edema and gallstones.
Because corn is often genetically modified, one should only purchase organic corn or corn products. However, even organic-labeled corn does not guarantee it is GMO free. Most individuals get exposed to corn in so many products, often as a sweetener. If you are not eating it in packaged or junk food-form, corn can be a healthy addition.
Buckwheat is rich in flavonoids like rutin and a good source of magnesium. Buckwheat is good for your cardiovascular system. It’s a valuable food for those with diabetes, as it can be helpful for regulating blood sugar.
Note: These grains are the most common grains that a person tries when they start going gluten free. Read more less-known grains on the next page.
6. Oats (make sure they are pure and uncontaminated):
Your grandma and the Scots ate oats because its inexpensive and grows anywhere. I eat oatmeal for its taste and nutrition and its many other benefits. Read all the benefits here: 10 Smart Reasons to Enjoy Oatmeal
There is some controversy about whether oats is really gluten free. Read here: Is Oats Gluten Free?
7. Sorghum (whole grain):
Sorghum contains large amounts of fiber, protein and nutrients. In studies it has been shown to possibly inhibit cancer growth, protect against diabetes and help manage cholesterol. Sorghum is significantly more nutritionally dense than ordinary white flour. It is often eaten as a porridge but can also be ground into flour.
Teff leads all the grains in its calcium content, with a cup of cooked teff offering 123 mg, about the same amount of calcium as in a half-cup of cooked spinach. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C, a nutrient not commonly found in grains. It can be grown in areas that won’t support other crops. The seed is so small it cannot be refined so is always a whole grain.
Amaranth contains significant amounts of B vitamins, calcium, iron and Vitamin C. Amaranth may help lower cholesterol. At about 13-14 percent, it easily trumps the protein content of most other grains. Amaranth was a major food crop of the Aztecs, domesticated between 6,000 and 8,000 years ago. The Aztecs didn’t just grow and eat amaranth, they also used the grains as part of their religious practices.
Movie lovers will be happy about this one! Popcorn has an abundant source of fiber and it has B vitamins and minerals such as manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc and phosphorous. Popcorn’s crunchy hull is rich in polyphenols—antioxidants that provide several important health benefits such as protection from coronary artery disease, protection from cancers, healthy blood sugar levels and prevention from premature aging.
10. Montina (Indian Rice Grass):
Indian rice grass was a staple of Native American diets. Pure Indian rice grass flour is super high in protein and fiber with 17 grams of protein, 24 grams of dietary fiber, and 24 grams of insoluble fiber in just 2/3 of a cup. It has a strong wheat-like taste.
All the above grains are recommended by the Canadian Celiac Association.
Note: If you are considering going gluten free or wondering if you should:
- Read Diana’s article on the Dangers of Common Gluten Free Products .
- Read the article: Do You Need to Eat a Gluten Free Diet with Dr. Oz’s self test.
- Consider doing a Healthy BootCamp. All of the recipes your receive for the BootCamp will be gluten free and particularly the upcoming Healthy Baking BootCamp which focuses on gluten free healthy baking.
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