Grains have gotten a bad reputation over the past decade. Considered the cause for intestinal problems, leaky gut syndrome and brain fog, a growing number of people are choosing to avoid bread, pasta and other grains. Especially gluten are seen as the culprit – although the scientific verdict is still out on whether gluten should be avoided if you don’t suffer from celiac disease.
There’s something to be said for over-consumption of wheat. Wheat’s the grain that forms the base of many foods. You might be thinking you’re eating a varied diet when you’re having granola for breakfast, toast for lunch and pasta for dinner, but they probably all contain wheat.
Also, most grain products on the supermarket shelves – white bread, white rice, flour tortillas, cereal, crackers, pastries – are made from refined grains. Refined grains are stripped of their hull, which contains the fibers and nutrients.
Whole grains in their natural form, on the other hand, contain valuable vitamins and minerals. Thanks to the dietary fiber, whole grains are slowly digested, gradually releasing their energy. What’s more, research also shows that regularly eating whole grains lowers your cholesterol and blood pressure, which decreases your chances of heart disease. The fiber in whole grains may also help improve insulin sensitivity and prevent constipation.
Unless you suffer from certain medical conditions, whole grains can be part of a healthy diet.
To get the most benefits – and shake things up in the kitchen – you could incorporate a wider variety of grains into your diet. Take a look at these 11 whole grains, with 19 delicious sweet and savoury recipes to get you started.