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5 Delicious Gluten-Free Grains to Add to Your Diet

Quinoa is a delicious high protein gluten free grain

Whether you're sensitive to gluten or just wanting to eat less of it, or simply wanting to expand your culinary horizons, here are 5 gluten-free grains that offer many health benefits:

Brown Rice

Unlike white rice, brown rice is high in fiber and vitamin E.  Vitamin E is essential for healthy skin, immune function, and many other critical functions in your body.  During the processing of brown rice into white, these nutrients are largely lost.  Brown rice also contains high amounts of the minerals manganese, magnesium, and selenium.  It also contains tryptophan, which helps with sleep.  Selenium helps ward off cancer.  Brown rice can easily replace white rice in almost any recipe:  soups, stews, stir-fries, and even to make a dairy-free milk substitute.

Buckwheat

The name is a bit misleading.  Buckwheat is not related to wheat and is both wheat- and gluten-free.  It’s not even technically a grain but a seed that’s a relative of rhubarb.  It is high in fiber, manganese, magnesium, tryptophan, and copper.  Research shows that the regular consumption of buckwheat reduces the incidence of high blood pressure or high cholesterol.  The combination of vitamin C and the flavonoid rutin give buckwheat its ability to prevent blood clumping and to keep blood moving smoothly through blood vessels.  Canadian research in the Journal of Agriculture & Food Chemistry found that buckwheat may be helpful in the management of diabetes.

Millet

Similar in texture to couscous, millet is high in manganese, phosphorus, tryptophan, and magnesium.  Phosphorus is a key component of ATP—your body’s energy currency.  ATP helps ensure that your body has the energy it needs for every function. Tryptophan is the amino acid that helps your body make melatonin which in turn helps you sleep like a baby at night. Magnesium has been shown in studies to reduce the severity of headaches and asthma.  And, according to research published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, foods high in insoluble fiber like millet can help reduce the incidence of gallstones.

Not all oats are gluten-free.  Certain gluten-free varieties are currently being marketed.  So, if you have a severe gluten sensitivity or intolerance, gluten-free oats may not be right for you.  However, if you’re just trying to eat less gluten, you might enjoy some of the benefits of gluten-free oats, which are good for your body in many ways. They help stabilize blood sugar and lower cholesterol, and are high in protein and fiber. Oats are available in many forms including instant, steel-cut, rolled, bran, groats, flakes, and flour. The best options are the less refined ones like steel-cut, rolled, flakes, and bran.  Oat flour is an excellent substitute for wheat flour in baking recipes. A good source of minerals like manganese, selenium, magnesium, and the sleep aid tryptophan, in many studies oats also assist with lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease.

Quinoa

Quinoa, a staple of the ancient Incas who revered it as sacred, is not a true grain, rather  the seed of an herb. Unlike most grains quinoa is a complete protein and is high in iron, magnesium, B-vitamins, and fiber.  In studies, quinoa is a proven aid for migraine sufferers and, like most whole grains, lessens the risk for heart disease. It also contains the building blocks for superoxide dismutase—an important antioxidant that helps protect the energy centers of your cells from free radical damage.

Wild Rice

Like millet and quinoa, wild rice is not a true grain.  It’s actually a type of aquatic grass seed native to the United States and Canada. It tends to be a bit pricier than other grains, but its high content of protein, and nutty flavor make wild rice worth every penny. It’s an excellent choice for people with celiac disease or those who have gluten or wheat sensitivities.  Wild rice also has a lower caloric content than many grains at only 83 calories per half cup of cooked rice.  And it is high in fiber.  Add wild rice to soups, stews, salads, and pilaf. It’s important to note that wild rice is black. There are many blends of white and wild rice, which primarily consist of refined white rice. Be sure to use only real wild rice, not the blends.

 

The Cultured Cook Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health Lose Weight & Extend Your LifeDR. MICHELLE SCHOFFRO COOK, PhD, DNM is a celebrity nutritionist and international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include:  THE CULTURED COOK: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight, and Extend Your Life60 Seconds to SlimThe Probiotic Promiseand Boost Your Brain Power in 60 Seconds. Her work has been featured in Woman's World, First for Women, Reader's Digest Best Health, Health, Huffington Post, Reviews.com, WebMD, ThriveGlobal, and Care2.com. Learn more about her work at CulturedCook.com and DrMichelleCook.com.

 
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