In a world full of trendy carb-free diets, a lot of people on the path to a healthier life immediately cut out grains as well. It turns out that there are some really healthy and beneficial grains that everyone should be eating for a well-balanced diet. Here, I’ll talk about 4 of those grains, why they’re so good for you, and how you can add them easily into your current diet.
It’s the grain that people have been preaching for years – and there’s good reason for it. Whole wheat, along with many other whole grains, serve up 2 to 3 grams of fiber per serving, which is essential for a healthy diet. Many food companies have tried to capitalize off of the benefits of whole wheat to grow their sales, deceiving customers that they’re getting a great serving of the grain without actually making their product with 100% whole wheat. Be sure to look for that on the label the next time you hit the grocery store.
If you’ve never heard of this grain, you’re not alone. It’s certainly not as common as whole wheat, but has just as many – if not more – health benefits for your diet. This whole grain is packed with protein, iron, calcium, and fiber. It’s also labeled as gluten-free because it fits into the seed classification. People typically use this grain as a snack or in lieu of pasta or cereal.
Contrary to popular belief, corn is not a vegetable – it’s a grain! Sure, it’s used in a lot of unhealthy dishes and products (I’m looking at you, high fructose corn syrup), but when prepared and enjoyed correctly, it offers just as many health benefits as any other whole grain. You can toast the raw kernels for popcorn for a light snack or enjoy it at a barbecue straight off of the cob. It’s a very versatile grain that will add flavor and health benefits to your diet.
Essentially unheard of before 2015, quinoa is one of the most powerful grains that has been introduced to the American diet in decades (at least, in my humble opinion). Quinoa is unique because it’s what health experts consider a complete protein. This means that it has balanced quantities of 9 essential amino acids. This grain is small but mighty, and can be used in so many different ways that you might find yourself buying bags and bags of it every month at the store.
Grains are not bad for you, so don’t let any conflicting information tell you otherwise. As always, if you want to make a change to your diet or have questions about what you’re eating and the health benefits surrounding your diet, call your doctor or schedule an appointment with a nutritionist. You’ll be happy that you did.