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.