Health Benefits of Ancient Grains

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 naturally gluten-free.
  • 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 and inflammation.
  • 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.