For some reason or another we have forgotten how to nourish our bodies. Maybe because of our fast lifestyle and because we now have less time to cook, or is it simply because the wisdom our forefathers had in nutrition has been left behind.
We are used to eating certain things like rice, oats for breakfast and wheat, which we excessively consume, causing allergies such as Celiac disease (allergy to gluten). Another problem is that the grains or cereals we eat daily are not even within the whole and healthy parameters nature is delivering; we eat processed grains which have lost most of their nutrients and are no longer beneficial for our health.
There are a large quantity of grains that are very favorable for our health which are rarely used in our kitchen; they are mostly called ancient grains, since these were widely used in ancient civilizations and have been forgotten by us today.
We will show you a list of some of these grains, the most common and easy to find are:
Amaranth: Amaranth is an ancient grain cultivated by the Aztecs, which is classified as a pseudo grain since it lies somewhere between a vegetable and a cereal. It is small, pearl shaped, does not contain gluten and it has an amazing amount of nutrients. It is high in protein and in the amino acid Lysine, which is beneficial for tissue regeneration (it is only found in low quantities in other cereals), it also has a large amount of fiber and it helps to lower cholesterol.
Spelt: Relative to wheat, contains gluten, so it is not favorable for people with Celiac disease. This is a whole grain with a nutty flavor. It contains a much wider variety of nutrients than its relative wheat, including high amounts of protein, folic acid (beneficial during pregnancy), magnesium and selenium. Spelt also has large amounts of fiber.
Quinoa: This is a grain we are more accustomed to seeing since it comes from our region of the Andes, and lately it has become a popular staple in our kitchens. Quinoa is not a grain it is a seed. Its popularity has grown since it contains high levels of proteins (it is a complete protein because it has the 9 amino acids). It also contains a high amount of iron, which is beneficial to our red blood cells helping us avoid anemia. Like amaranth, it contains lysine, and is rich in magnesium and manganese.
Farro: Farro or Mote in Chile is a cereal we are very used to seeing in our country, it is always present in our favorite summer drink Mote con Huesillos (a drink or desert made out of dried peaches and cooked farro). This wonderful grain is totally worth incorporating in our daily lifestyle. It contains over 8 grams of fiber, which help reduce cholesterol, magnesium, which is beneficial for menstrual cramps and it is a type of classified carbohydrate known as cyanogenic glycosides, which boosts our immune system.
All these grains or cereals are easy to find, some are more common than others, like Quiona or Farro and can be found in supermarkets or local farmers markets. Amaranth and Spelt can be found in specialized food stores. All of these are easy to cook, similar to cooking rice, and can also be found as flours, so you can easily replace them when you bake. You can incorporate all of these grains with creativity in your daily life.
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