What Are Ancient Grains?
We all know that whole grains are much healthier (and tastier!) than refined
grains such as white rice and flour. Whole grains provide many health
benefits including reducing your risk of developing chronic diseases.
But if you’re getting tired of the usual brown rice and oats, you
may want to try some ancient grains instead. As the name implies, ancient
grains have been around for millennia. Most of them date back to some
of the oldest civilizations such as the Egyptians, Aztecs, Incas, and
more. Unlike many of our modern grains, ancient grains are grown just
as they were a thousand years ago, freeing them from any hybridization
or genetic modification. In addition, ancient grains raise the bar when
it comes to nutritional value.
Health benefits of ancient grains include:
- Contains more protein and fiber than modern grains
- Provide energy
- Promote satiety
- Most are naturally gluten-free
- Less refined, which means that they are grown and harvested organically
Other health benefits are found specifically on the type of ancient grain
ranging from high doses of vitamins and minerals to containing insane
amounts of antioxidants that can help keep chronic diseases at bay.
Types of Ancient Grains
Some of the most consumed ancient grains today include:
Quinoa- Originally from the Incan culture, quinoa is a gluten-free pseudo-grain
or seed that is loaded with all essential amino acids, making it a complete
protein. It is also a good source of dietary fiber and has the highest
potassium content among all the whole grains.
Teff- A type of whole grain that hails from Ethiopia. Teff contains loads of
calcium, high dose of vitamin C, iron, protein, and fiber. It is also
Amaranth- Hailing from the Aztecs, Amaranth is a pseudo-grain similar to quinoa.
This ancient grain is packed with calcium and has high contents of iron,
magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Millet- This ancient grain is believed to be the staple food among Asian countries
before rice was widely consumed. Millet is a naturally gluten-free grain
that is high in antioxidants and magnesium that can fight off diabetes
Kamut- This Egyptian wheat is jam-packed with protein and vitamin E as well
as higher levels of healthy fats. Kamut has a rich, buttery taste that
can be perfect for cereals, bread, and even baby food.
Adding Ancient Grains to Your Daily Diet
Incorporating ancient grains to your diet is easier than it has ever been,
especially with the emergence of organic markets and stores. These grains
are great not only for adding nutrition to your diet but also for giving
your meals a new dimension of flavor. If you don’t know where to
start, you may want to look up some familiar recipes online that use ancient
grains as substitutes or ask for recommendations from your local organic
store about the ancient grains that they sell. Just remember to keep an
open mind and don’t be scared to try any of these healthy ancient grains.
This article contains general information about medical conditions and
treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as
such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis
of a physician.
If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should
consult your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.