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Is Fonio the Future of Nutrition?

By Sara Butler

You’ve probably heard of quinoa, but how about fonio? This ancient grain is poised to give quinoa a run for its whole grain money. It turns out that it’s quite the nutrition powerhouse. Get ahead of the curve and learn all about this grain. Here’s what you need to know before your fling with fonio.

What is it?

Fonio is grown in western parts of Africa. In fact, it’s one of the continent's most ancient grains. A member of the millet family, it grows fast, which has made it a great crop for farmers for a long time. You can find it in white and black varieties, but white is the easiest to grow and is likely what you’ll find in your grocery store.

It’s Nutritious

Many foods have been called superfood, but fonio might actually earn the moniker. It’s a fantastic source of plant-based protein, with about 12 grams of protein per cup -- more than quinoa. It’s also a low glycemic index food that won’t cause your blood sugar to spike, it’s naturally gluten-free, and is packed full of important macronutrients and amino acids your body needs to work optimally. Most grains can’t claim to contain the same amino acids that fonio does, which puts it in a league of its own.

Fonio is also full of fiber and vitamins, such as Vitamin B and Vitamin A. It has phosphorus, iron, and magnesium too.

Fonio Fare

How do you use fonio? You can basically use it anywhere you would use quinoa. It has a crisp texture and a nutty flavor, which makes it an ideal addition to side dishes, salads, and even oatmeal. It’s also naturally free from gluten, so it’s a good grain alternative for those who need to stay far away from wheat and the gluten in it.

You can easily find fonio in health food stores or online -- so there’s no reason to not give it a try and see what you think!

Remember, whole grains just like fonio can help support better cardiovascular health and help to reduce your chance of chronic disease by helping you to maintain a healthy weight. You should eat about 3 ounces of whole grains per day to stay healthy -- that translates to about 48 grams of whole grains in the average diet per day.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sandy, Utah.

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