How to choose the best grain for you
Yesterday we went through all of the reasons why white bread is evil. If you need to jog your memory, click here. It’s important stuff to know about. But today I want to ditch Negative Nancy and tell you about the grains that are actually beneficial to us. Whole grains are an excellent source of nutrition, as they contain essential enzymes, iron, dietary fibre, vitamin E and B-complex vitamins. Because the body absorbs grains slowly, they provide sustained and high-quality energy. They also keep us fuller for longer, and will help veggie food go a lot further. They are the perfect transition food for those who are trying to ditch animal products.
When you choose organic whole grains, you can enjoy foods like rice, pasta and bread without the guilt that usually creeps in after you’ve had a refined grain blow out. Whole grains have a completely different effect on our system. Because all of the parts of the grain are in tact, our bodies know what to do with them. We absorb all of the nutrients the grain carries. Whole grains are high in fibre, which means the carbohydrates are absorbed much slower into our system. They don’t raise our blood sugar and they help our digestive system run smoothly.
Great grains …
Whole wheat: When you select 100% whole wheat products, the bran and the germ of the wheat remain intact, and the grain carries many health benefits. Whole wheat (in its original non-enriched form) is a great source of dietary fiber, manganese and magnesium.
Brown rice: Brown rice contains the highest amount of B vitamins out of all grains. It also contains iron, vitamin E, amino acids, and linoleic acid. It takes longer to digest and therefore provides us with prolonged energy.
Quinoa: Prounced “keen-wah”, quinoa has the highest nutritional profile and cooks the fastest of all grains. It is extremely high in protein and provides us with a lot of energy. Click here for more on this super grain.
Rye: Rye is the only bread we are allowed to eat on the Gerson Therapy (as long as it contains nothing but rye flour, yeast and water). It is very nutrient dense, supplying high levels of iron, calcium, potassium and zinc as well as vitamin E and a variety of B vitamins. It is also a good source of protein and soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps us to feel fuller longer as it slows down the breakdown of carbohydrates and sugars. Rye flour has a far lower gluten content than wheat, and is excellent for use with a sourdough starter.
Spelt: Spelt is known as ancient wheat, but it does not cause the same allergic reactions or intolerances as wheat. It is high in fiber and manganese and contains good amounts of copper, niacin and protein.
Buckwheat: Buckwheat is actually a fruit seed related to rhubarb. Although buckwheat has the look, feel, taste, and versatility of grain, buckwheat is not technically grain, and it contains no gluten. It contains all of the essential amino acids, making it one of the few vegetarian sources of complete protein that equals the protein of fish or meat in quality. Buckwheat has a nutty, rich flavor that complements many dishes.
Millet: With a similar consistency to couscous, millet makes a great wheat-free substitute for dishes calling for this small, round grain.
Whichever grain product you choose, always be sure to read the ingredients label. Choose an organic brand and make sure that the product doesn’t contain any preservatives or additives. You can usually pick up breads and pastas that list olive oil and sea salt as the last ingredients – these ones are good choices (unless you’re on Gerson or beating cancer, we shouldn’t have ANY salt in our diet).
Check out this post about why you should always soak your grains before cooking with them.
What’s your favourite grain and why?
Positive affirmation for the day: When I release resentment and choose to forgive, I allow love to flow into my life.
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