Although paleo advocates a grain free diet, some people prefer to include selected alternative gluten free grains, or at least allow them as a ‘sometimes’ food. After all, it is true that our Paleolithic ancestors did consume the odd ancient grain. Here’s a list of three ancient gluten free grains that are worth knowing about.
Author credit: this article was written by Frank Buontempo, Director of Orgran Health and Nutrition.
Gluten-free eating is no longer just something limited to coeliacs or those with food intolerances. Many people seeking a healthier diet are going gluten free and enjoying the greater nutritional variation and benefits. Switching to a gluten free diet often opens up a whole world of delicious and healthy food choices and with a greater variety of foods available, a gluten free diet has never been more accessible. Entire cultures thrived for thousands of years without growing or consuming any of the gluten grains (wheat, barley, rye and oats) so it’s safe to say there are more than adequate sources of these nutrients in alternative grains. Here is a summary of nutritional benefits of some popular alternative grains.
Highly valued for its nutritional benefits, buckwheat is not related to wheat in any way (it actually belongs to the rhubarb family of plants!) and it is known to have the best source of high biological proteins in the plant kingdom. It provides a rich source of vitamins B1and B2, potassium, iron and rutin and is known to help reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Diets containing buckwheat have been linked to improved blood sugar control, therefore reducing the risk of diabetes and discouraging obesity. It also contains magnesium which relaxes blood vessels and improves blood flow.
Often referred to as a superfood, quinoa is a complete protein meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. A species of goosefoot grown primarily for its edible seeds, quinoa originated in the Andean region of South America. Quinoa aids digestion, regulates your blood sugar, keeps your heart healthy and is a great source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.
These tiny seeds are high in protein and fibre and are the richest source of omega-3 fats of any plant. Chia seeds are a great source of iron, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins which will naturally boost energy levels and health. They promote a healthy heart, brain function and nervous system. They are rich in antioxidants which can help protect the body from ageing.
About the author
Frank Buontempo is the Director of Orgran Health and Nutrition. Specialising in natural, alternative grain products for better health and wellbeing, Orgran Health & Nutrition is a pioneer and trusted brand for coeliacs and food allergy sufferers. Over the past thirty years, the Orgran range has grown to be the biggest in Australia. The range includes alternative grain pasta, baking mixes, crispbreads, biscuits and breakfast cereals. The Orgran manufacturing facility is free from gluten, wheat, eggs, dairy, nuts, tree nuts, soy, lupin and yeast. For more information on allergies, great recipes and products available, visit www.orgran.com.au