Gluten-Free Grains You Gotta Try
By Sara Butler
If you can’t tolerate gluten, you don’t have to swear off grains forever. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1.8 million Americans suffer from celiac disease. While avoiding gluten can be challenging, there are more things out there than you may realize. Here are a few grains to put on your list that are healthy and free from the gluten that can cause you problems.
OK, so millet is technically not a grain but a seed. Still, these small, round seeds come in a variety of colors. And you can cook them to suit your tastes and make millet creamy like a version of mashed potatoes or fluffy like rice.
Millet is a great product to use because it has a very mild flavor, so you can use it in savory or sweet dishes. Put it in soups or a make a breakfast porridge -- the sky is the gluten-free limit!
Unless you’ve been living deep in the jungles of South America, you know all about quinoa. Most people think quinoa is like wheat or barley, but in truth, it’s most closely related to beets and spinach. These small seeds come in all kinds of colors and should be cooked up fluffy, a little crunchy, and translucent. Also, don’t forget to rinse your quinoa before cooking or you could suffer some uncomfortable side effects!
Quinoa isn’t just great because it’s gluten-free, it’s also great because it’s rich in protein and is low on the glycemic index, so it has a very small impact on blood sugar.
Buckwheat is another seed that has fooled people into thinking it’s a grain. It’s actually most closely related to rhubarb!
Buckwheat seeds are about the size of wheat kernels and can be eaten unroasted or roasted. They’re high in the flavonoid rutin, which has been found to help protect against heart disease. When you combine that with its high levels of magnesium, buckwheat is great for your heart.
Amaranth used to be a major staple for the Aztecs and is now starting to have a resurgence in popularity. These seeds are a great source of plant protein just like quinoa and buckwheat. Plus, it has two amino acids your body needs along with a healthy dose of calcium and iron. Throw in fiber and you’ve got yourself one great gluten-free kitchen staple!
You don’t have to be someone who needs to avoid gluten to enjoy these grains (or seeds). Try adding a few to your kitchen rotation and see what you think!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sandy Springs, Ga.