Whole grains are rich in flavor and provide the body with nutrients that are vital for your health. They're also high in fiber, which cleans the colon and helps with weight management. Researchers at Wake Forrest University’s School of Medicine suggest eating 2.5 servings of grains every day to reduce your risk of a heart attack and stroke. Grains also reduce cholesterol levels, boost metabolism and enhance the immune system.
Barley is a cereal grain with a rich, nutty flavor. It grows in significant qualities throughout the year around the world. It's high in selenium, a trace mineral that protects cells against free radicals in the body. You can add it to cereal, eat it plain or use it to thicken soups, cereals and sauces. You can also mill it into flour and use it to bake breads, cakes and cookies.
Quinoa is a small seed with a nutty flavor and crunchy texture. It's high in magnesium, which relaxes blood vessels, decreases blood pressure and increases energy. The seed coat of quinoa contains a toxic substance called saponin that must be removed before consumption. You must also rinse quinoa thoroughly before cooking it to remove saponin residue. It complements vegetables, rice and casserole dishes. You can also add it to hot cereals and salads.
Wheat is a grain you'll find in a variety of foods. Bread, crackers, muffins, bagels and pasta are some of the foods made from wheat. Wheat is high in fiber, which helps clear the colon. It's also high in tryptophan, an amino acid that treats brain disorders including depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Because wheat is so widely available, many find it easy to incorporate it into their diets. It's most popular in North America but available throughout the world.
Millet is the seed used in bird foods, but humans can consume it as well. Available throughout the year, millet is tiny in size and varies in color. It's rich in phosphorous, which assists the body in repairing damaged tissues. It;s also rich in fiber and tryptophan. Millet is highly alkaline, so it helps regulate your body’s pH level. You can add it to hot or cold cereals, salads and soups.