Are you one of those people who wakes up to a comforting bowl of whole-grain oats, quinoa, or millet? On occasion, you might even be brave enough to reach for black rice, freekeh, or even whole-grain corn. If you do, kudos to you! You’re already convinced that whole-grains are scrumptious and nutrient dense. If you haven’t quite made the commitment to include 100% whole-grains in your diet, make it now. Here’s why we should eat more whole-grains:
TASTE: Whole-grains taste incredible. They lend a toothiness and nutty flavor to any dish.
VERSATILITY: They’re easy to work into any meal, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Nine easy ways to incorporate more whole-grains in your diet:
1. Ditch the noodles and add wild rice to chicken soup.
2. Make your next mushroom risotto with whole-grain or hulled barley instead of arborio rice.
3. Try farro for your pilaf as a replacement for long grain white rice.
4. Toss cooked spelt berries with wilted kale, escarole or dandelion.
5. Experiment with new salad creations: How about a mint quinoa tabbouleh, or a millet and chickpea salad? Or just add wheat-berries to your favorite salad greens.
6. Incorporate bulgur in your next pot of chili instead of ground beef, or include it in place of potatoes in a lamb stew.
7. Choose pasta made from 100% kamut, spelt, brown rice or buckwheat.
8. Snack Smarter: Substitute white or wheat bread for 100% whole-grain bread. Select whole grain crackers made with oats (such as Nairn’s Oat Crackers), wheat, rice or corn, ensuring the words “whole grain” come before the name of the grain. Smear one to two tablespoons of almond butter on a slice of sprouted 100% whole-grain bread or tortilla, and top with banana slices (look for 100% whole-grain on the package, avoid bread labelled simply as “multi-grain”, “7 grain”, “whole wheat”, etc.)
9. Liven up your breakfast routine by rotating a different grain each day. Rotate your piping hot bowl of steel-cut oats for comforting bowl of amaranth or teff porridge.
VARIETY: There are so many different types of whole-grains – you’ll never tire of eating them. Here’s a partial list: amaranth; barley; buckwheat; bulgur; corn; farro; freekeh; kamut; oats; quinoa; rice: brown, black, wehani etc; rye; sorghum; spelt; teff; triticale; wheat-berries.
BENEFITS: 100% Whole Grains Promote Wellness.
• Cardiovascular Health: each 28g serving of whole-grains may lower your risk of death from Cardiovascular disease (CVD) by 9% (JAMA Internal Medicine: US study on the Association Between Dietary Whole Grain Intake and Risk of Mortality)
• Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: According to a study published in Nutrition Source, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, women “who averaged 2 to 3 servings of whole-grains a day were 30 percent less likely to have developed type 2 diabetes than those who rarely ate whole-grains”.
• Keeps You Full Longer: 100% whole-grains contain bran and fiber, which slowly breaks down starch into glucose, keeping you full longer and helping to maintain steady blood sugar levels instead of sharp spikes.