15 Wholesome Whole Grains to Eat Right Now

15 Wholesome Whole Grains to Eat Right Now

Grains are the seeds of their parent plants. The seed, or kernel, is made up of three parts: the bran, the endosperm and the germ. Each of these components all play a key role in your diet, containing valuable nutrients. Have fun baking, experimenting, and enjoying the wholesome nutrition with the following whole grains:

1. Amaranth: One cup of amaranth contains more protein than almost any other grain (28g per cup uncooked).

2. Barley: This chewy grain is great in soups or as a breakfast cereal and makes a great base for rice-pilafs, casseroles and marinated salads. When buying, look for pot barley. [Contains gluten.]

[Recipe] Turkey Breast with Barley-Cranberry Stuffing

3. Buckwheat: Add this grain to cakes and pancake mixes as it is rich in potassium and B vitamins.

4. Brown Rice: The most ancient and nutritionally balanced grain, rice is one of the easiest foods to digest and is completely gluten-free (all varieties). It is also high in B vitamins and vitamin E.

5. Bulgur: This grain is actually wheat that has been parboiled, dried, and cracked. [Contains gluten.]

6. Corn and Corn Meal: This is the only grain which contains vitamin A. Be sure to choose organic as most conventional corn is GMO.

7. Couscous: This is a cracked wheat grain. When buying, look for couscous that is unrefined. [Contains gluten.]

8. Kamut: (Pronounced "ka-moot"). A staple grain of the Pharaohs in Egypt 6,000 years ago, Kamut is a relative of durum wheat, has a sweet, nutty flavor and makes for great pasta. [Contains gluten.]

9. Millet: This grain is gluten-free and alkalizing when cooked. Serve the same way as rice.

10. Oats: High in silica, oats can help to keep your skin, nails and hair strong, shiny and healthy. [Does not inherently contain gluten, but frequently contaminated. Learn more about this here.]

11. Quinoa: (Pronounced "kee-no-a"). A light and delicate grain that is rich in protein. Quinoa can be substituted for rice in recipes.

Read more about quinoa recipes you'll love

12. Rye: This grain has a strong, hearty flavor and has low gluten content. [Contains gluten.]

13. Spelt: This member of the wheat family lowers cholesterol, stimulates immunity and can help blood to clot. [Contains gluten.]

14. Triticale: (Pronounced "tri-ti-cay-lee"). This high-protein grain can substitute for wheat in any recipe. [Contains gluten.]

15. Wheat: A good source of and B-complex vitamins, this grain dates back to ancient Asia. Most breads, pasta and baked goods use wheat as their main ingredient. [Contains gluten.]

Read labels to ensure the product you are eating is made from the whole grain – it should be the first ingredient listed. For example: “whole grain spelt flour”, “whole oat flour” or “whole grain wheat”.

[Editor's Note: If you want to learn more about how to choose healthy foods, click here to sign up for a Naturally Savvy Get Healthy Challenge.]

Image: Katrin Morenz

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Lisa has been in her own practice for over 15 years and specializes in weight management. She teaches natural nutrition in both corporate and educational environments and is a shining example of someone who practices what she teaches. Lisa is a nutritionist and educator specializing in weight management. After losing weight several years ago through a more natural diet and by improving her digestion, she committed to sharing her new-found knowledge and returned to school to study nutrition. Over the past decade, her Nu-Vitality Weight Program has helped employees at numerous corporations lose thousands of pounds. In addition, Lisa regularly consults for groups and individuals with unique nutritional needs such as police officers and athletes. Lisa has been featured on the Discovery Channel, numerous radio programs and is a contributor to various publications. Additionally, she teaches nutrition at multiple post-secondary schools, has taught natural food cooking workshops, and authored two books.