If you are trying to cut back on gluten to test the health benefits, there’s something you should know. The words ‘whole grain’ do not insinuate that it has gluten. Whole grains have benefits that your body NEEDS so don’t eliminate ALL of the whole grain goodness. Whole grains are naturally high in fiber and low in fat and when eaten regularly, they help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Plus, they help to keep you full longer and give you lasting energy. Who doesn’t need energy?
Here are 3 whole grains that bring excellent benefits to your body, but are also gluten free!
Quinoa isn’t actually a grain, it’s a pseudo grain meaning it substitutes well for whole grain options. Not only is quinoa gluten free, but it has all essential amino acids (proteins) in perfect balance to complex carbohydrate making it an excellent meal or side. It can be used as sweet or savory, breakfast or dinner and is a great additive in some of your favorite foods like pancakes, chili, and granola.
On top of being full of fiber, brown rice is an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese, and a good source of selenium, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, and niacin. Rice is one of the most popular foods in the world. The reason brown rice is more nutritious than white rice is because the complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. Choose brown rice as an excellent, gluten free whole grain.
While many people think that buckwheat is a cereal grain, it is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb which makes it a gluten free grain substitute. Like other whole grains, buckwheat is great for heart health and full of fiber, but it also carries some great anti-oxidant properties. You will often see buckwheat in the form of flour, but it can also be bought as a roasted or unroasted kernels. You might’ve heard of Buckwheat pancakes where buckwheat flour is used. You can also use buckwheat flour for baking gluten free baked goods like muffins and breads or you can add it to soups and stews.
Image by Rob and Dani