You might be wondering what gluten is since that term has been popularized in recent years. You might have heard it from friends or seen on various health articles that it’s a good idea to eat foods that are gluten-free. But what really is gluten?
Gluten is a sticky protein found in wheat. It can be found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). Gluten helps food maintain their shape, acting as a “glue” that holds food together. So, what is the big deal with gluten?
Gluten can cause allergies and it has been known for causing something known as Celiac disease. It is a serious digestive disorder that is increasing in the world. In celiac disease, gluten causes an immune reaction that targets the intestinal villi. The villi are a finger-like projection that is responsible for nutrient absorption. Celiac disease causes the villi to flatten that results to malnutrition. Because celiac disease is linked to malnutrition, it affects every system in the body. If the disease is not avoided or stopped, it can be fatal.
But there are other options that a person can avoid consuming foods that contain gluten. Here are 10 super healthy gluten-free grains.
Millet is a gluten-free grain that can provide a host of nutrients. It had a sweet, nutty flavor and considered as one of the most digestible and non-allergenic grains available. It is one of the few grains that is alkalizing to the body.
Quinoa is a great vegetable seed. It is also referred to as a grain. It is a seed from a vegetable that is related to Swiss chard, spinach, and beets. Quinoa also helps aid in weight loss.
3. Brown Rice
Rice is a staple in some countries, and it feeds the world. Of all the types of rice available, the brown rice is the most beneficial for those who want to avoid gluten and lose weight. Brown rice is the ideal rice to avoid gluten.
Sorghum is cultivated as both a cereal grain and an animal feed. It is also used to produce sorghum syrup, a type of sweetener, as well as some alcoholic beverages. The gluten-free grain contains plant compounds that act as antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress and lower the risk of chronic disease.
Amaranth is high in fiber and loaded with health benefits. It can reduce cholesterol and hypertension and has even shown to shrink tumors. Amaranth is ideal for athletes as it contains above-average starch for athletes since it also provides high-quality proteins.
Teff, of all the grains, is the grain that contains the most calcium. A cup of cooked teff offers 123 mg, about the same amount of calcium as in a half-cup of cooked spinach. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C, a nutrient not commonly found in grains. The seed is so small it cannot be refined, so it is always a whole grain.
Popcorn is not only for the movies but also for those who want to avoid the gluten. Popcorn is an abundant source of fiber, and that it has some B vitamins and minerals such as manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc and phosphorous. The crunchy hull is rich in polyphenols—antioxidants that provide several important health benefits such as protection from coronary artery disease, protection from cancers, healthy blood sugar levels and prevention from premature aging.
8. Montina (Indian Rice Grass)
Indian rice grass was a staple of Native American diets. Pure Indian rice grass flour is high in protein and fiber, with 17 grams of protein, 24 grams of dietary fiber, and 24 grams of insoluble fiber in just two-thirds of a cup. It has a strong wheat like taste, so it is perfect for those who want a gluten-free diet but wants the taste of wheat.
Buckwheat is rich in flavonoids like rutin and a good source of magnesium. It is also good for the cardiovascular system. It’s a valuable food for those with diabetes, as it can be helpful for regulating blood sugar.
One of the preferred dietary grain is the oat because it is very healthy. They are also one of the best sources of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that benefits the health. The Beta-glucan that the oats contain can effectively decrease both “bad” LDL and the total cholesterol without affecting the “good” HDL cholesterol.
It is always better to be on the safe side especially with your health. Consuming gluten-free foods can keep you away from the celiac disease at the same time, taking in the same nutrients and other health benefits that gluten foods contain. In this post, I gave you 10 super healthy gluten-free grains.
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