Whole grains in your diet

What are whole grains anyway .....

They are foods that contain the entire kernel or grain, or the entire kernel that is edible. Some examples are oatmeal, whole cornmeal, popcorn, brown rice, whole rye, barley, quinoa, spelt. 

When grains are refined, much of the nutritional value is lost by removing the kernel. Whole grains are more wholesome and you have a better chance of getting the vitamins, minerals, folic acid, magnesium, vitamin E, antioxidants, and other unknown factors that you lose when grains are refined. 

Another important factor - you get much more fibre in your diet when you eat whole grains; and the more fibre you eat the easier it is to off-load excess oestrogens from your system. The fibre content varies from grain to grain, ranging from 3.5% in rice to over 15% in barley. 

Easy ways to add more whole-grains:

  • Add half a cup of wild rice, or barley to bread (wheat free) stuffing, or stuffed vegetables etc.
  • Add half a cup of cooked wild rice, brown rice, sorghum or barley to your favourite home-made soup.
  • Use whole corn meal for corn cakes, corn breads and corn muffins.
  • Make risottos, pilafs and other rice-like dishes with whole grains such as barley, brown rice, millet, quinoa or sorghum.
  • Enjoy whole grain salads like tabbouleh, rice salad, whole grain wheat free pasta salads etc.
  • Look for cereals made with grains like kamut, kasha (buckwheat).

Gluten free whole grains

Quite a lot of sufferers of endometriosis have found they are gluten intolerant. The most well-known source of gluten is found in wheat and wheat based foods. But certain grains can include gluten.

The list below outlines grains which are gluten free, and have high nutritional value.

Amaranth – is a tiny yellow seed which is used in cereals or they are ground and used for flour. When Amaranth is cooked it has a crunchy, creamy texture, similar to that of cooked corn. Use in breads, cakes, soups, hot cereals, and grain dishes. Rich in iron and calcium.

Buckwheat - which is not a form of wheat, despite its name. Buckwheat groats are the hulled, crushed, kernels of the grain. Usually cooked in a manner similar to rice. Groats come in course, medium, and fine grinds. Kasha is roasted buckwheat groats and it has a toastier, nutty flavour. This grain can be used alone or with other grains, in pilaffs and casseroles.

Chickpeas - or garbanzo beans – eaten whole in stews, casseroles and various other dishes, also ground into flour called gram flour (used a lot in Asian cooking)

Millet - this grain is crunchy and has mild nutty flavour. This gain is easy to digest and often used by people on wheat-free diets. Ideal served incorporated into vegetable dishes, used as a stuffing, or in soups, stews or pilafs.

Millet flour is used to make puddings, breads, and cakes. Millet has great nutritional value and contains thiamine, iron and also contains significant amounts of protein, fibre, and potassium.

Quinoa - a real super-food high in nutritional value. It contains more protein than any other grain. It is considered a complete protein as it contains all the essential amino acids.

This grain is ivory coloured and expands to four times its original volume. Its flavour is delicate and bland. It's available as a grain, ground into flour, and also available in several forms of pasta.

You can use quinoa by itself, and can also be used in soups, salads, meat and vegetable dishes. Quinoa provides a source of high quality protein similar to that of meat and eggs. It is also a good source of calcium!

› Whole-grains

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