These ‘super grains’ can offer more nutrition and health benefits compared to processed and refined modern grain products. They can often contain a richer source of protein and fibre, vitamins and minerals.
While ancient grains are generally eaten in their whole forms, healthy whole grains need not be exotic. Common, cheaper grain products such as brown rice, wholegrain bread, oats and popcorn, offer the same whole grain goodness.
The best way to ensure you’re getting the full spectrum of nutrients available in nature is to eat a variety of different grain foods.
Many whole grains are actually gluten free! Whole grains such as amaranth, buckwheat, corn, millet, montina, quinoa, rice, sorghum and teff can also be a useful alternative to gluten-free or wheat-free products.
Amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat are technically not true cereal grains, but are often grouped in with them due to their similar nutrition profile and preparation.
Oil Seeds and legumes
Such as flax, chia, sunflower seeds, soy, chickpeas, are not considered wholegrains, however they are still very nutritious!
Quinoa is a low GI, gluten free grain originally from the South American Andes Mountains. It has an outstanding nutrition profile packed with fibre, B vitamins (riboflavin, thiamine and niacin) which help with energy metabolism in your body, and minerals including magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorous and zinc.
Quinoa is a complete protein, with all nine essential amino acids, which can assist in hormone production, boost immunity and improve muscle quality.
Amaranth is a gluten- and wheat-free South American grain that is high in protein and amino acids, vitamin C, iron and calcium.
Millet is a small, whole grain that has been used as a staple food in Asian and African countries for many years.
Millet has been associated with protection against cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, stomach ulcers and some types of cancer.
Millet is gluten-free and cholesterol-free, a source of protein and fibre and has a very low sodium content.
Spelt is an ancient grain that was commonly eaten in medieval times.
Spelt is high in fibre and iron, and is a source of protein, manganese, zinc and iron.
Farro, also known as emmer, is a wheat grain that was originally used in ancient Egyptian bread making.
Farro is packed full of nutrients including fibre, protein, niacin and zinc.
Kamut is a large grain, believed to have originated in Egypt or Asia.
Kamut is high in protein and amino acids, as well as essential fatty acids. It is also a good source of B vitamins (thiamin, niacin, folate, riboflavin, vitamin B6), vitamin E, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium.
Teff is a tiny grain made from the seed of an Ethiopian grass. It is gluten-free and full of nutrients including protein, manganese, calcium, fibre, thiamine and iron.
Oats are low GI, full of soluble fibre and provide an array of nutrients including B