Top 5 Healthiest Grains to Add to Your Daily Meals

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Since ancient times, grains have been cultivated by mankind, making them one of the oldest sources of food in human history. Grains make the perfect food because they contain complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and essential nutrients. This is why no balanced meal is complete without grains. And if you are wondering what types of grains you should add to your daily diet, consider our recommendations below:

1. Quinoa

Quinoa makes the ideal source of energy. Unlike other grains, quinoa becomes light, fluffy, and tasty when cooked. It has a distinct nuttiness to it that enhances the flavors of any dish. It only takes 30 minutes to cook quinoa, making it an ideal grain for quick meals and snacks.

Quinoa is loaded with plant-based proteins at 8 grams per cup. This grain is also packed with fiber that lowers cholesterol level and improves digestion. Adding quinoa to your daily meals is a great way to boost your consumption of protein without the saturated calories. You can also combine quinoa with fresh veggies to create a filling, satisfying meal!

2. Brown Rice

Rice is a staple grain in most countries, especially in Asia and Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, white rice has been refined so excessively that it contains almost zero nutritional value. If you simply cannot give up white rice, we recommend opting for brown rice.

Unlike white rice, brown rice is less processed so it retains the grain’s nutrient content. Brown rice’s outer hull remains intact so it is high in fiber, protein, and vitamins. A serving of brown rice yields about 5 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and modest amounts of vitamin B1 and B3. Brown rice is also a great source of manganese and selenium!

3. Whole Oats

Whole oats make the best diet food. Although whole oats are high in calories (about 607 in a cup serving), these grains contain 17 grams of dietary fiber, 26 grams of protein, and iron. In fact, a cup of oats will satisfy 66% of your RDA of dietary fiber and 41% of your RDA of iron. Because they are packed with complex carbohydrates, whole oats are the perfect breakfast food. These grains will power up the body and sustain energy well beyond lunchtime!

4. Barley

If you love whole oats but you are wary of the calories, then barley makes a worthy substitute. This grain has a thick, paste-like consistency and nutty flavor that will complement many types of dishes. We love barley in the morning for its energizing properties.

Barley is teeming with protein, complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and minerals. Just a cup contains 193 calories, which is very low for grains. Even better, barley is packed with iron, copper, manganese, selenium, and phosphorous.

5. Millet

Millet comes in different colors including yellow, gray, red, and white. You can mix different colors to create awesome-looking meals. Millet grains may be small but they pack a lot of flavors and nutrients. This grain is packed with protein, fiber, and high levels of manganese, magnesium, and phosphorous! All these nutrients keep the body healthy and promote weight loss. Even better, millet is one of the least fattening types of grain.

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