Grains are the seeds of grasses, which are cultivated for food. They are an essential part of a healthy diet. Eating whole grains lowers the risk of many chronic diseases.
Brown rice is an excellent source of magnesium, iron, selenium, manganese, and the vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B6. Brown rice is a good source of dietary fiber, protein, and gamma-oryzanol. White rice is brown rice that has had essential nutrients removed when processed in order to make it easier and faster to cook, and to give it a longer shelf life. This is accomplished by removing the bran, and with it, minerals and vitamins that are necessary in our diet. The health benefits of brown rice include heart disease, cancer and diabetes prevention and digestive health. Studies show that people with the highest dietary fiber intake have the lowest cardiovascular risk. Wholegrains contain special compound called lignans, which are converted by good bacteria in the gut into useful substance that can help prevent cancer.
The low glycemic index of brown rice helps to create a more sustained release of glucose into the bloodstream, which prevents sugar spikes and puts less stress on the pancreas that needs to pump out less insulin to deal with the glucose load.
Millet is more than just an interesting alternative to the more common grains. It a good source of some very important nutrients, including manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. Millet is a grain that should also be included on your list of heart-healthy choices because of its status as a good source of magnesium. Magnesium has been shown in studies to reduce the severity of asthma and to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks. Magnesium has also been shown to lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack, especially in people with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease. Niacin (vitamin B3) can be helpful in improving cholesterol numbers.
Unlike other grains, amaranth is a good source of protein. It is rich in the amino acids lysine, methionine, and cycteine, with a higher content of lysine than any other grain. It is also high in fiber, with three times the fiber of wheat. Amaranth is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It has more than 20% of the recommended daily amount of calcium, iron, magnesium, and folate.
Amaranth is also a good source of potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, C, and E. It is a cholesterol-lowering food, with both tocotrienols and phytosterols, two natural compounds known to help the body improve cholesterol numbers. Amaranth is an ideal addition to any health-conscious diet.
Quinoa is a good source of magnesium, the mineral that helps relax blood vessels, preventing the constriction and rebound dilation characteristic of migraines. If you are prone to migraines, try adding quinoa to your diet. Increased intake of magnesium has been shown to be related to a reduced frequency of headache episodes reported by migraine sufferers.
Since low dietary levels of magnesium are associated with increased rates of hypertension, ischemic heart disease and heart arrhythmias, this ancient grain can offer yet another way to provide cardiovascular health for those concerned about atherosclerosis.
Quinoa is also a good source of riboflavin, which is necessary for proper energy production within cells. Riboflavin (also called vitamin B2) has been shown to help reduce the frequency of attacks in migraine sufferers, most likely by improving the energy metabolism within their brain and muscle cells.
Quinoa is an excellent source of manganese and a good source of copper, two minerals that serve as cofactors for the superoxide dismutase enzyme. Superoxide dismutase is an antioxidant that helps to protect the mitochondria from oxidative damage created during energy production as well as guard other cells, such as red blood cells, from injury caused by free radicals.
These are nutrient-dense, hypoallergenic, complex carbohydrates, with a balance of B vitamins and magnesium to support optimal digestion and balanced blood sugar. The over consumption of wheat, rye, and oats contribute to digestive weakness, immune activation and chronic inflammatory disorders.
Wholegrains are rich in insoluble fiber, which increases stool bulk and decreases the transit time of waste through the intestines.
Additional benefits include —
- Significant cardiovascular benefits for postmenopausal women
- Heart protective properties
- Development and repair of body tissue
- Substantially lower type 2 diabetes risk
- Protective against breast cancer
- Helps prevent gallstones
- Antioxidant protection
- Help for migraine headaches