All About Ancient Grains
By Sara Butler
You’ve probably seen or heard the term “ancient grains” thrown around a lot lately -- it’s one of the latest buzzwords that all those concerned with healthy eating seem to be repeating. But what are ancient grains and are they really worth all the hype? Here’s what you need to know!
Ancient Grains Defined
Ancient grains don’t really have a definition but are grains typically identified as types of grains that have remained unchanged over the last 100 years or so. Unchanged means exactly what you think it does: Grains that have not been modified genetically or changed by modern growing practices. If your ancestors 100 years ago ate it just as you are, then it’s technically ancient.
Are They Healthier?
Ancient grains do have a leg up on processed or refined grains but keep in mind that grains don’t have to be in the ancient category to be healthy for you. Modern whole grains such as oats, popcorn, and brown rice are all healthy, nutritious, and maybe a little easier to find than some of the more exotic ancient grains.
What Grains are Ancient?
There are a few easy to find (and make) ancient grains you should consider adding to your menu, including:
- Polenta – Yes! The ground white or yellow corn is full of protein, naturally gluten-free, and a great complex carbohydrate to add to your diet. Use it in place of rice or hot cereal and you’ll be getting plenty of Vitamin A and Vitamin C too.
- Amaranth – This is a very old grain that is wheat and gluten free, as well as high in protein. Just one serving has almost half your daily recommended amount of iron and is high in Vitamin C and calcium.
- Barley – This is a very nutrient-dense grain, high in Vitamin B, copper, selenium, fiber, iron, and manganese. It’s low in calories, too.
- Buckwheat – This grain makes a great addition to side dishes or salads since it’s high in Vitamin B6, copper, phosphorus, niacin, and magnesium. It also happens to be a complete protein, just like quinoa, meat, and dairy. If you don’t eat animal products, then give buckwheat a try.
- Wheatberries – These are an entire wheat kernel with all parts included, making it a great source of nutrients. It’s high in protein, fiber, Vitamin E, folate, and calcium.
Ancient grains are tasty and interesting to add to your diet, so try some today!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Monroe, La.