Monthly Archives: May 2016

Grains to Add to Your Diet

1.All about grains

According to the Whole Grains Council, a whole grain “contains all the essential parts and naturally-occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed in their original proportions.” The Whole Grain Council notes that whole grains can be processed but still have the same balance of nutrients.

Some whole grains are already familiar to you, but you may find many more you haven’t tried yet, including some that will work on gluten-free diets. Intrigued? Take a look at these 17 healthy whole grains.

2 Amaranth

Amaranth is native to Peru and was a major food crop of the ancient Aztecs. It’s not technically a cereal grain like wheat, oats and barley, so it’s called a ‘pseudo-cereal.’ It gets included in the whole grain group because it’s had a long history of being used like a grain. Amaranth is high in protein and several minerals. It’s naturally gluten-free so it can be used in gluten-free cooking because it doesn’t contain gluten.

3 Black Rice

Black rice isn’t as well known as white or brown rice, but it can be found in specialty whole foods stores. The pigment that gives the rice its rich purplish-black hue is rich in antioxidants and since it’s not refined, it qualifies as a fiber-rich whole grain.

4 Barley

Barley is another grain that’s been around for ages. It’s probably best known as one of the main ingredients in beer, but it’s also used as a typical grain. Regular barley has a super tough hull, so you’re probably going to find ‘pearled barley’ in your grocery store. Pearled barley is partly refined, but even though part of the hull is removed, it’s still better than an entirely refined grain.

5 Brown Rice

Brown rice is really just white rice in it’s natural state. It still has the brownish colored bran covering, so it’s a bit higher in fiber and more nutritious than white rice. It takes a bit longer to cook and has a chewier texture, but it cam be used in most recipes that call for regular rice. And just like white rice, brown rice is available in several varieties, including long- medium- and short- grain rice.

6 Buckwheat

Buckwheat isn’t a form of wheat or even a grain — it’s related to rhubarb and is another of the pseudo-cereal. Buckwheat is used to make soba noodles and kasha. It’s high in fiber, which is good, but it can be a little difficult to cook and can become too mushy. Buckwheat is also gluten-free.

7 Corn

Corn surprises some people because they think of it as a vegetable. But corn on the cob, cornmeal and popcorn are excellent whole grains that are gluten-free. Corn is really quite nutritious and has gotten a bad rap because it’s high in starch. It’s also high in fiber and one of our favorite gluten-free whole grains.

8 Emmer

Emmer is a type of wheat, so it’s not gluten free. In fact, it’s one of the oldest forms of wheat. Sometime’s it’s referred to as farro. Be sure to look for whole emmer or whole farrow — pearled emmer is a refined version.

The Advantages to Eat Avocado

You’ve probably seen the video if you’ve spent any time on Facebook in the past couple of weeks.

Blogger Sophie with Nourish Me Whole posted a video on why we should be eating the seeds of the avocado — you know, those brown pits that we stab with a knife and throw away before scooping out the good stuff. Her reasons: It contains almost as many antioxidants as the whole avocado, along with plenty of fiber and skin-boosting collagen.

More: How to tell if your upset stomach is food poisoning or the flu

“Its extremely bitter taste probably has a lot to do with that,” she wrote of why we don’t eat the seeds now, “but there’s so much benefit to be had by eating it, so it’s worth investigating how we might go about it.”

The best way to eat it is in powder form, which she explains how to do in the post.

The video has gone viral with over 26 million views, prompting us to wonder if eating avocado seeds is wise. Spoiler alert: Probably not.

The problem? She offers no research on her claims — and science hasn’t fully studied the consumption of seeds to determine their health and safety.

“I’m a huge avocado fan. I eat them daily, and recommend them to my clients, but I have reservations about eating the seeds,” Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD., told Health.com. “While there is some research about beneficial compounds in the seed, the safety of ingesting it hasn’t been established, so the risks versus benefits aren’t fully known.”

More: 10 unhealthy things you’re adding to your salad

The California Avocado Commission even warns against it, writing on its website that “the seed of an avocado contains elements that are not intended for human consumption.”

Sophie seems confident in her original post — and video — that there’s a whole bunch of nutritional value in those seeds. However, she backs away from the claims with an “I’m an amateur!” addendum to her post.

“I’d like to formally clarify that I’m NOT a professional nutritionist, chef or biologist. I am someone who is intensely passionate about natural health, and whenever I read about a food/idea/recipe that makes sense to me and inspires me, I share it,” she wrote.

“There is a range of research around whether or not the avocado seed should be consumed. Please ensure you read a few articles from both sides before making your decision whether or not to try it (and if you do, start slowly).”

In other words, just stick to the part of the avocado that’s proven to be healthy: the delicious green meat. And then use the seeds to grow even more delicious avocados.