There's some good news already in 2017 that's doing the health food rounds. Grains are back! As far as I'm concerned they never went out of style. Grains feed good bacteria in our gut to help them grow and protect our gastrointestinal tract and help digestive function. Of course anything that improves our digestion and metabolism will aid in weight loss. Wouldn't that be terrible!! To lose some of the Christmas layer that we've put on over the past month, gee no thanks ;) ! Grains help us go to the toilet. Also, many grains such as the ones below, contain a high amount of micro and macro nutrients and phytonutrients (phytonutrients are things in food that help perform a certain function, such as 'anti-oxidant'). Here I've listed my top three grains that I feel are important to include in your daily diet.
- Oats warm my heart. They are also very good for my heart. The latin binomial for oats is 'Avena Sativa' and they are believed to have come to us from the bonnie land of Scotland. I'm sure they've steadied the nerves of many a brave Scot. Full of nutrients, they contain flavonoids, minerals, Vitamins B1, B2, D, E, carotene and some fat. We have always used oats in naturopathy for fatigue and depression and they are seen as a 'grounding food' for the anxious. The flavonoids act as anti-oxidants for the heart and the fiber reduces cholesterol levels. Do you know any type-A personalities, always on the go, anxious with high blood pressure? Oats are one of the best 'food as medicine' breakfasts they can have. Here is a gorgeous link for more info about oats - Dr Alex Botsaris
- Brown rice. Around 75% of rice's nutrients are found in the hull of the grain, rendering white rice almost devoid of the good stuff. Besides brown rice tastes so amazing and the healthy content is far more wholesome than when it's naked. Brown rice contains anti-oxidants, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins. Again, great for energy and fatigue.
- Bulgar. Yup this one you probably have tried but not known as it is used to make tabbouleh salad. Click here for a super easy delicious tabbouleh salad recipe. Bulgar is a wonderful source of iron and magnesium, protein and fiber making it a winner for vegetarians and vegans especially. Bulgar contains 25% of recommended daily protein intake. It's also great in soups for winter months of nourishing grounding and rebuilding.
So why isn't quinoa on my list?
We're giving it break. Besides it's technically a seed so we'll give the other wonderful grains a chance to shine!
When my lovely friend told me that her grandmother in Bolivia could not afford Quinoa any more due to exportation I went back to recommending brown rice. I have however included quinoa as the third point, because it IS a wonderful grain, but would recommend buying from a local organic seller in Tasmania - Kindred organics. Bare in mind, organic quinoa should be rinsed, soaked overnight and rinsed again because it is very bitter. As we know, quinoa is high in protein and is a great source of omega-3 which is a fat normally found in fish found to be highly anti-inflammatory. Quinoa is versatile as well and you can eat it as a cereal with fruit, in a salad or as a substitue for rice.
Okay!! So I'm so excited to go with the grain in 2017!! I hope you are too. If you are in to your grains I would love to hear in the comments how you incorporate them into your daily diet.