Whole grains are available in all shapes, sizes, tastes and textures. With an assortment of B vitamins, iron, fiber, plant-based minerals and protein, every small grain delivers a nutritional punch. A whole grain has its own natural bran, which retains a great part of its nutrient value.
The carbohydrates found in whole grains digest more slowly than refined variations, keeping blood glucose levels (and cravings) controlled for sustained energy. They’ve also been proven to decrease LDL (“bad” cholesterol), help to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, in addition to lower heart disease and diabetes risk. With whole grains, you have many choices not only in variety, but flexibility in the kitchen, too.
From breakfast to dinner and everything in between, there is a grain out there for each time constraint, cooking craving and level. Here are the 4 most nutritious whole grains with delicious ways to incorporate them to your everyday diet. Its tiny, bead-like look makes it a whole grain alternative to refined white pasta, can be ground on your blender to make fermented flour for baked products, and may be turned into a creamy grain main like this Millet, Lemon and Kale “Risotto.”
Bran rolled, steel-cut and entire grouts are the identical grain presented in various ways. They are high in soluble fiber, helping to reduce cholesterol, improve digestion, help manage a healthy weight, decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and much more.
An everyday pantry staple which makes not just an amazing warm breakfast cereal with rolled oats, but also risotto with steel-cut or pilaf with entire grouts.
They are also star players in desserts, like this recipe for Honey Oat Roasted Pears.
Not often thought of as a whole grain, corn’s bad-boy health character ought to be restricted to the refined versions of itself (i.e. high-fructose corn syrup).
Its standout nutritional characteristics are lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that help vision. As a whole grain, corn is an exceptional grain since it’s eaten fresh from the cob, in addition to dried in the kind of cornmeal and flour.
For an elegant and healthy vegetarian entree with corn, try this Veggie Ragu on Blue Cheese Polenta.
Whole grain brown rice is a low-allergen; fermented whole grain high in B vitamins, selenium, fiber and slow-digesting carbohydrates. Many varieties of rice can be easily found in whole grain brown rice like basmati, short grain and long grain.
Together with a legume or bean, brown rice becomes a complete plant-based protein, as showcased in this recipe for Goat Cheese, Lentil and Brown Rice Rolls.
Inky-black using a slightly sweet, grapey taste, this dark-colored entire grain is among the greatest sources of antioxidants in almost any food, even more so than many fruits and vegetables.
It is excellent as a side dish, used as a bed for curries or made into a healthy dessert like this Black Rice Pudding with Mango, Lime, Passion Fruit and Coconut.