Gluten-Free Grains

Gluten-Free Grains ~ Super Grains

Have you been considering going this route?

Well, don’t think that you’re stuck eating rice and corn for the rest of your life.

There are plenty of natural options that people around the world have been enjoying for thousands of years.

And not only are they tasty, but these grains also provide a source of nutrients that many diets may lack, like b vitamins, iron, and fiber.

Try adding them to your diet to add variety to your meals and ramp up the nutrition in your diet.

Unfortunately, many women often fall short of their fiber goal for the day (25 grams), and many of these grains listed here provide almost a quarter of that in just one serving.

Here are a number of gluten-free grains you can try.

They may be as old as civilization itself, but they’re probably new to you!

Amaranth

Native to the Aztecs, amaranth has been eaten for thousands of years, and for very good reason: One cup of cooked amaranth boasts 9 grams of filling protein and a whopping 29 percent of your daily value of energy-supplying iron.

Because amaranth releases a lot of starch as the grains cook, the Whole Grains Council recommends boiling one cup of amaranth in 6 cups of water. (Drain excess water when grains are tender, about 40 minutes.)

Buckwheat

Contrary to its' name, buckwheat isn’t actually a wheat, but a fruit seed that was originally cultivated in China.

You’ll find buckwheat in noodles (called soba) and as groats, also called “kasha,” which are the roasted kernels.

One cup of cooked groats packs only 155 calories and 1 gram of fat, plus 5 grams of hunger-sating fiber.

Buckwheat is particularly rich in soluble fiber, which is important when you’re looking to keep blood sugar levels steady.

Teff

If you’ve ever been to an Ethiopian restaurant, you’ve probably eaten enjera, a spongy crepe-like bread made from teff that’s used like a utensil to scoop the food.

This nutty-tasting grain boasts tiny seeds, yet big nutrients: Not only is it high in protein at 10 grams per cup, but it also contains over 30 percent of your daily value for vitamin-B1, a nutrient that’s essential for helping the body fight stress, and is a surprisingly good source of bone-building calcium.

Millet

If you've ever bought birdseed, then you’re familiar with the tiny, light-hued grains that cardinals and blue jays love so much.

That’s millet, and as a nutritional powerhouse, you should be eating it, too.

For one cup, you’ll get one-quarter of your daily value for manganese (one-third of adults may not get enough of this mineral), which helps the body metabolize food for energy and regulate blood sugar.

Sorghum

This African plant can be whipped up into a sweet-tasting flour and turned into yummy syrup as well.

High in antioxidants, some varieties pack more of these disease-fighting polyphenols than blueberries and pomegranates

Forbidden Rice

Although it starts out a deep shade of black, forbidden, or black rice cooks to a brilliant purple hue.

Bursting with heart-healthy anthocyanins (the antioxidant that gives the rice its color), young and middle-aged women with higher intakes of these plant chemicals were 32 percent less likely to suffer heart attacks compared with those who ate lower levels, according to a 2013 study.

Bhutan Red Rice

Grown in the Himalayas, a cup of gluten-free cooked red rice, supplies 200 calories, 4 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fiber, plus minerals like phosphorus (essential in keeping bones and teeth strong), manganese, and magnesium (low levels of the mineral are linked to migraines).

You can steam it like regular rice for a side dish, toss with nuts and dried fruit for a sweet-savory pilaf, or as a topping on a salad.

Unlike whole grain brown rice, the red variety cooks in less than half the time, about 20 minutes.

Job's Tears

Similar to barley (minus the gluten), this chewy grain gets its name from its teardrop-like shape.

In addition, when polished, the grain is often used to create rosary beads.

Used medicinally as a treatment for cancer in China, preliminary research suggests that specific sugar extracts from the grain could help kill and prevent the spread of cancer cells, including lung cancer.

Look for Job’s Tears in Asian markets.

They may be found under a different name, like Coix Seeds, Chinese barley rice, Chinese pearl barley, or Hato Mugi.

Blue Cornmeal

You may be surprised to know that corn is not only naturally gluten-free, but it also counts as a whole grain.

A staple of Native Americans in the Southwest, the blue variety is a bit sweeter than yellow corn meal, and is ground from, you guessed it, blue corn (which can look anything from grey-blue to purple).

Switching from yellow to blue, will give you a bit more protein and fiber (5 grams of fiber per serving compared to 3 grams in yellow) for a meager 130 calories.

Fonio

Still largely unknown, fonio (a grass seed) is thought to be the oldest cereal in West Africa.

It’s easy to digest and rich in essential amino acids and protein.

Ranking lower than other grains on the glycemic index, a measure of how fast a food spikes your blood sugar, fonio is a smart choice to slow digestion to stave off cravings.

One 2009 study found that the grain is rich in beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber, which research shows may protect against insulin resistance.

You can cook fonio like rice by boiling for about 20 minutes.

So, there you have a great variety of gluten-free grains to add to your diet.

Whether you are considering going gluten-free or not, these super grains will be of distinct benefit to you and your family

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