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Top 5 healthy whole grains for dieting

Whole grains are the hottest thing right now, next to sliced bread. They are flexible gratifying, and great for supplying slow-burning starch (think sustained energy!) Their consumption is connected to a lower chance of cardiovascular disease, stroke, type two diabetes, and obesity (yes, a lesser threat of obesity). Listed below are eight whole grains that you can try out and super simple, tasty ways to integrate them into foods and snacks. (And for all those who have celiac disease or even a gluten intolerance, most are gluten free.)

Kaniwa: This quinoa cousin is comparable to cal talking “packed with protein, minerals, and antioxidants,” but it is roughly half the size so that it cooks fast (approximately 15 minutes). Like quinoa, it is incredibly versatile. It is possible to mix cooked, chilled kaniwa to a dish, fold it in yogurt with fruit, nuts, and cinnamon, add it into some garden salad, or use it instead of bulgur into tabbouleh. Sexy kaniwa could be stuffed into sandwiches, added to a stew, or employed any way you would enjoy quinoa in hamburgers, lettuce wraps, frittatas, you name it!

Kaniwa (Chenopodium pallidicaule) belongs to the foxtail family and is a so-called pseudocereal, including amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, and chia seeds. Incidentally, it is biologically very closely related to quinoa.

kaniwa blooming

Canihua (Kaniwa) is native to Peru and Bolivia. The cold-resistant Kaniwa plant grows in the Andes mountain range and is known by numerous language varieties such as kañiwa, kañawa, and kañagua 1. The tiny gluten-free seeds taste the sweetness of chocolate with a hint of nuttiness.

Kaniwa contains many antioxidants.

Scientists studied the antioxidant capacity and phytochemicals (phenolic compounds and flavonoids) in canihua grown at 3850 m altitude. Eight main compounds were identified: Catechin gallate, catechin, vanillic acid, kaempferol, ferulic acid, quercetin, resorcinol, and 4-methylresorcinol. Resorcins showed the most significant antioxidant capacity. Canihua is a potential source of natural antioxidant compounds and other biologically active compounds that may be significant for human health, according to the results. According to another study, kaniwa contains 943 μg (+/- 35 μg) of quercetin derivatives (derivatives), with a very high antioxidant activity of 75% 3. In comparison, the antioxidant activity of quinoa is 86%.

Another antioxidant compound found in kaniwa is isorhamnetin. Antioxidants are plant compounds that the human body needs to fight free radicals. Free radicals damage cells and can cause a variety of diseases such as cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, cataracts, and cancer.

kaniwa, according to other research, could be an alternative to conventional grains with health-promoting nutritional components. But, again, analyses showed high antioxidant activity due to phenolic compounds.

Allowing the seeds to germinate for 72 hours increases the number of phenolic compounds and flavonoids, which may increase the antioxidant activity of kaniwa even further.

Kaniwa mainly contains:
The essential micronutrients iron (15 mg per 100 g).
Calcium (110 mg).
Phosphorus (375 mg) in higher amounts.
The proportion of the three nutrients is more elevated in Kaniwa than in usual cereals. Iron is needed for the transport of oxygen to the body cells and is therefore essential in producing energy in the organism. Calcium and phosphorus are minerals that the body needs, especially bone and tooth health. Cooking the seeds can increase the bioavailability of the minerals.

Kaniwa is relatively high in calories due to the high amount of carbohydrates (63.4 g). This is due to the high amount of complex carbohydrates, broken down and absorbed more slowly by the body. However, the proportion of rapidly available sugars (single and double sugars) is deficient at 6.5 g per 100 g, considering the high ratio of carbohydrates.

Dietary fiber
In addition to proteins, the proportion of dietary fiber is also relatively high at 6.1 g per 100 g.

The indigestible dietary fibers stimulate the digestive tract. They serve as a food source for intestinal bacteria and thus ensure healthy intestinal flora.

Protein-rich seeds
Kaniwa contains higher amounts of protein (15.7 g per 100 g) and is a high-quality vegetable protein source. The seeds have a unique amino acid profile with high levels of the amino acids lysine (0.88 g), isoleucine (0.53 g), and tryptophan (0.17 g). Again, the levels are higher than cereals.

The tiny seeds contain 7.6 g of fat per 100 g. The most significant proportion of this is the essential omega-6 fatty acid, linoleic acid with about 43%. Linoleic acid is a component of the skin and is needed for conversion to other fatty acids, which are involved in immune reactions and are active as neurotransmitters.


A higher percentage of γ-tocopherol (one of eight vitamin E compounds) is also present in Kaniwa, which acts as an antioxidant and contributes to prolonging the shelf life of the seeds. In addition, thiamine (vitamin B1; 0.62 mg per 100 g) and riboflavin (vitamin B2; 0.51 mg) are other vitamins found in the seeds. Vitamin B1 is needed, among other things, to release energy from blood sugar (glucose), and vitamin B2 is required, among other things, for the production of energy from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Use Kaniwa
Unlike quinoa, kaniwa contains no or very little saponins (soap-like substances that taste bitter), saving processing steps such as running the seeds under running water.

Buckwheat: While wheat is from the title, buckwheat is not associated with wheat in any way. Actually, it’s considered a whole grain due to its nutritional qualities, but it is technically a cousin of rhubarb, and it’s naturally gluten-free. You might have attempted buckwheat pancakes, but among my preferred kinds of buckwheat is soba noodles. It is also possible to enjoy buckwheat for a breakfast porridge or use buckwheat flour for producing anything from crepes to biscuits.

buckwheat flowering

Quick facts about buckwheat

Buckwheat is a gluten-free grain alternative that can also be eaten by people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
The high-quality protein, numerous minerals, and healthy secondary plant substances make buckwheat a natural power grain.
It gives baked goods a subtle, nutty flavor. Like any other whole grain, it can also be used for cakes.

Nutritional information
One serving per package
Serving size 100
Amount per serving
Calories 343
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3.4g 4%
Saturated Fatty Acids 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 71.5g 24%
Dietary Fiber 10g 34%
Total Sugar 0g
Contains 0g added sugar 0%
Protein 13.25g
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 18mg 2%
Iron 2.2mg 12%
Potassium 460mg 10%
Daily percentages are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Therefore, your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

How to prepare buckwheat?
First, wash the buckwheat, add water in a 2:1 ratio and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes. Cooked buckwheat groats have a consistency like oatmeal. Most buckwheat groats are soaked overnight in water and then cooked for a few minutes on high heat. If you use buckwheat flour there, you can substitute this in place of regular flour. Be sure to adjust the number of servings, as buckwheat’s high fiber content makes baked goods rougher or drier.

Japanese soba noodles, for example, are also made from buckwheat flour. You can also add it to soups and casseroles, and these are then cooked similarly to lentils.

How healthy is buckwheat?
It consists of about 10% high-quality protein, twice as much protein as oatmeal. It has a higher biological value than millet or spelt. Buckwheat contains all the essential amino acids, which is unusual for plant foods. Buckwheat belongs to every healthy diet, and vegetarians benefit from the increased protein intake. The many vitamins such as niacin or vitamin B12 are present in a high ratio in buckwheat.

Buckwheat contains magnesium, which is good for muscle health. Manganese (building bones) is also copper for better iron absorption. Phosphorus for better teeth and bones, and zinc is essential for their immune system. Minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium are also present in higher quantities. As you can see, buckwheat can do a lot for your health, especially for your digestive system and digestive problems. Try buckwheat groats as a hot cereal for breakfast, and you will have an excellent start to your day. In summary: Buckwheat offers several health benefits, especially for the digestive system.

Dark rice: Dark rice is popping up on menus all over the area. The organic pigment that provides black rice its color is a distinctive antioxidant tied to defense against cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, and fatty liver disease. That is the reason when compared with brown rice, black rice packs more potent anti-inflammatory properties, in addition to high levels of iron, protein, and fiber. I will make use of the leftovers in many different ways, like the foundation for a hot cereal (created with unsweetened coconut milk, fruit, nuts, and ginger), chilled and sprinkled onto a garden salad, or folded into veggie chili.

When it comes to nutrients, none of the conventional varieties can beat black rice: The dark grain is a real mineral bomb! With a particularly high iron value, it is good for the circulation. Black rice is also rich in protein and trace elements. In addition, it contains an unusually high amount of antioxidants, whereby so-called free radicals should be made harmless.

Taste and use of black rice

Black rice has a nutty aroma with an intense whole grain flavor. It goes wonderfully with rice pans or salads and is also a real delicacy on its own. When cooked, the rice is very firm to the bite as well as fluffy and provides a special crunch in dishes.

Fun Fact: In China, black rice is also called “Forbidden Rice”. Not because it is unhealthy – but because its positive properties were once reserved only for the emperor.

Sorghum: Along with becoming nutrient-loaded, this fermented grain is digested and absorbed slowly; therefore, it’s a slowly digested, high-quality which keeps you fuller more, delays hunger, also helps regulate blood glucose and glucose levels. Sorghum may be utilized in innumerable recipes, from smoothies to sweet cold or hot cabbage salads, but my favorite way to prepare it is to pop it, like popcorn!

Move over, quinoa! Now it’s the turn of sorghum millet. This gluten-free grain is cooked with its hull and therefore retains much of its nutrients. These include fiber, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, and the vitamins nicotinic acid, riboflavin and thiamine – so sorghum is healthy all around! It can be served in a variety of ways: it can be made into porridge, groats or patties, but it can also be ground and then mixed with another type of flour and baked. Sorghum millet is especially suitable for people who suffer from gluten intolerance – even gluten-free beer can be made from this grain!

Improved protein quality and digestibility. The main storage proteins in millet are the so-called kafirins. These are difficult to digest and of low quality for nutrition. To improve the protein composition in millet grains, scientists at the University of Nebraska used CRISPR/Cas to modify a kafirin gene to lower the kafirin content and improve protein quality and digestibility.

At the University of Queensland (Australia), millet plants were modified by transferring up to two genes from other millet varieties (cisgenic approach) so that the plants had higher protein content, better protein digestibility, and larger grains or higher grain number.

sorghum healthy whole grain


Teff: Known for its candy, molasses-like taste, and flexibility, teff could be cooked as an oatmeal option, added to baked products, or produced into polenta instead of corn. Teff packs around three times the calcium as other whole grains over 120 mg per cup (once cooked), plus it supplies resistant starch, a particular sort of carbohydrate that has been proven to ramp up the human body’s fat-burning metabolism naturally. Teff could be integrated into homemade energy bars, pie crust, biscuits, or utilized in salty foods, like a teff lentil loaf, or as a coat for lean proteins such as fish.

What can teff do for health?
The tiny grains hold great potential for our health and a conscious diet. However, no matter which teff product is used, it will always be whole grain. This is primarily because the mini-grain is too small to be ground. Therefore, there is no white flour from teff, only whole grain products.

Teff has a low glycemic index of 27. In comparison, the value for toast made from white flour is 70. As a result, those who consume teff products do not have to reckon with their blood sugar levels quickly going into a tailspin and craving attacks looming. This means that a diet based on teff can also benefit the slim line.

A balanced blood sugar level is significant for people with diabetes. Studies have been conducted in Norway in this regard. Researchers found that the high fiber content in teff grain can even build up protection against type 2 diabetes.

In further scientific studies, it was proven that teff could have a preventive effect on esophageal cancer, malaria, or anemia.

Teff and celiac disease
Celiac disease is a disease of the intestinal mucosa. Symptoms worsen after eating spelt, wheat, and other grains containing gluten. The disease is on the rise and is favored by cultivating gluten-rich wheat varieties. Those who have celiac disease must avoid gluten for life. Teff can bring variety into the kitchen and enable sufferers to live symptom-free lives.

Teff and gluten sensitivity
Gluten can trigger gluten sensitivity. In the past, rather little attention was paid to this disorder. Today, experts agree and assume that about 20 percent of people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome develop gluten sensitivity and that teff can thus help to alleviate the symptoms.

Teff and cancer
Esophageal cancer is rare in our latitudes. However, the disease is insidious, and the chances of survival are low. The Arab region registers the most cases of esophageal cancer worldwide. This can probably be attributed to the fact that people there consume a lot of hot tea beverages and thus continuously irritate their esophagus.

Besides rye bread, which is frequently a combination of refined wheat and rye, there are many ways to enjoy 100% rye grain. Rye flour may be used to get baking, rye flakes may be added to rolled oats, and rye berries may be added as a substitute for rice. Recent studies have proven that rye is more satiating than wheat germ. In animal research studies, mice fed whole rye versus that of wheat had lost more fat and experienced marginally decent improvements in cholesterol levels and even insulin management. While looking for rye products, make sure to read the list of ingredients. In most mainstream grocery stores, you can find 100% whole rye crackers, created only from entire rye flour, water, and salt.

RELATED: Thinking of going gluten free? Read this first

You might have experienced barley in soup; however, there are quite a few different ways to enjoy this hearty whole grain. Among the earliest cultivated grains, barley was found in Egyptian pyramids and absorbed by early Greeks for medicinal purposes. Natural compounds in barley are demonstrated to help decrease cholesterol even greater than oats and nourish the “good” bacteria in your gut, enhancing digestive health, resistance, and fat control. Barley is also a unique fiber whole grain, yet another boon for weight reduction, because fiber helps foster satiety and curbs calorie intake. Try it as a hot breakfast cereal, at a chilled bean and vegetable dish, or as a rice choice in a pilaf.

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