A grain is a small, hard, dry seed harvested for human or animal consumption. Grains are typically good sources of protein, fibre and many other food nutrients.
People who eat these staple foods as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases because it is rich in nutrients, like fiber, B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate) and minerals (iron, magnesium and selenium).
While there are many types of edible grains, below are five healthy ones you don’t want missing in your diet.
Oats are whole-grain food considered to be the healthiest grain on earth. They are gluten-free whole and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.
Oats contain large amounts of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that reduces bad cholesterol level, ensuring good heart health.
Buckwheat is pseudocereal. This grain is a great choice for diabetics as it is gluten-free. It contains all the nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Buckwheat also contains rutin, a compound that reduces risk of high blood pressure and cancer.
Barley is a major cereal grain, commonly found in bread, beverages, and various cuisines of many cultures. It is full of lignans, phytonutrient compounds that help prevent the occurrence of prostate and colon cancer.
Its richness in potassium, calcium, and magnesium, makes it a good choice for high blood pressure patients.
Talk of bone health, the iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc in barley all contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength.
Barley also boasts of selenium, a mineral that helps detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in the body.
Quinoa seeds are rich in protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and dietary minerals in amounts greater than in many grains. It is also gluten-free.
It has high content of quercetin and kaempferol, two flavonoids with anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects. It also has a low glycemic index which is good for blood sugar control.
Millet is packed with high contents of magnesium, fiber and antioxidants. It contains quercetin that aids liver and kidney functioning by eliminating toxins from the body.
Millet also prevents anaemia. It is rich in folic acid, copper and iron which are nutrients important in the formation of red blood cells.
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