When you are trying to improve your health habits or get in shape, you may want to consider including more of the best whole grains in your diet since they can assist on both fronts. With their soluble fiber, whole grains provide enough needed potassium to help lower blood pressure, cholesterol and keep blood sugar more stable. In addition, they can satisfy hunger longer than some other foods when watching your weight.
You might be wondering what is the difference among all grains that make the “whole” ones special. All grains are the plants seeds that you can eat. The definition changes to a “whole grain” when the entire seed with its bran, germ and endosperm are still intact instead of shrugged off, which is common in prepared cereals. Oats, brown rice, wheat etc. originate from cereal grasses.
You may think that you have your bases covered when reaching for your box of whole grain cereal or loaf of bread that has that promise stamped on the bag. I hate to burst your bubble, but many of the nutrients are destroyed through the manufacturing process. The only real assurance you have is to cook the grains to reap those healthy benefits.
One of the top grains is probably in your pantry right now with uncooked oats. Instead of just keeping a container for making cookies or adding to meat loaves, cooking fresh oatmeal for breakfast takes minutes and is far less expensive than ready to pour boxes of cereal. My chocolate peanut butter oatmeal recipe is so delicious and will instantly convert you to loving oatmeal even if you hated it. Another winning way to prepare cooked oatmeal for breakfast is with an applesauce, adding some raisins and a dash of cinnamon to spice it up.
Millet is another of these grains you might want to think about. You can cook it like a cooked cereal for breakfast. Try adding some sliced apple or applesauce, cinnamon and honey for a sweet change. You also can toast it before cooking to provide a nutty flavor to serve as a side dish or an ingredient for one. By the way, it also makes a great change for a pilaf.
Though quinoa may be an actual seed, it is considered a whole grain because of that complete plant structure. You can cook some up and add some legumes and veggies for a meatless meal. It also can help stretch ground meats for incorporating in meatloaf, chili, taco filling, etc. You can also add it to salads as you would for a rice salad or a side dish with some butter or olive oil and seasonings.
Bulgur is yet another of these specific grains to start using. You can cook some for adding to salads, pilafs, vegan meatballs, and burgers. In fact, you can also mix several varieties together for working into your recipes for tasty results like bulgur with quinoa.
I’ll be honest with you that brown rice may be a whole grain grass that is better nutritionally for you than a white rice, but it is my not favorite tasting. However, it does have a lot vitamin B6, niacin, thiamine, magnesium for muscle function, phosphorous, and other essential minerals for health. Use it just you like do for other recipes with rice from casseroles, puddings, fillings, burgers, etc.
What I shared here are some of the best whole grains that you just may have overlooked. Hopefully, you will give them a chance and be healthier for it.