Should we be eating grains? What types of grains are best? Desi answers these common questions about the benefits of grains in your diet. From a nutritional standpoint, they are pretty important.
There has been a lot of interest around grains in the past few years. Particularly, by certain individuals or diets that preach that grains shouldn’t be included in our diet. Often those who exclude grains from their diet say they have had a huge improvement in their digestive system and their bloating has disappeared. I often ask clients though, was it the grains or was it their portion size or servings of grains? If that had been excessive, could that have caused them to feel very full and bloated? Just something to think about!
What are the benefits of grains in your diet?
I’m here to explain why grains are so important to include in our diet. To begin with, grains are high in carbohydrates, low in fat, provide protein and varying amounts of vitamins and minerals. They provide a quality source of iron, iodine, magnesium, zinc, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and Vitamin E. Last week’s blog focused on fibre. This links in well with this blog, as grains are also a fantastic source of fibre! So basically they provide us with a huge variety of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. This gets them a big thumbs up.
And before those people with coeliac disease who can’t eat gluten say they can’t have grains in their diet, let me stop you. Grains such as quinoa, rice, wild rice, buckwheat, amaranth, millet and corn are easy to include in your diet and are gluten-free. Nuts, seeds and legumes are also great substitutes for grains for those who need to follow a gluten-free diet. For those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, quinoa is a fantastic grain as it’s a complete protein. That means it provides you with all the essential amino acids you must consume through your diet.
Whole grains are always best
At Tree of Life Nutrition, we recommend when choosing grains that they are ideally whole grains, are low GI and are high in fibre. Try to keep refined grains to a minimum in your diet. They don’t provide anywhere near the benefits whole grains provide!