Eating whole grains is good for your health because it reduces your risk of heart disease. Eating grain products fortified with folate before and during pregnancy helps prevent neural tube defects during fetal development.
Here are the whole grains you should be including in your diet and why:
Brown Rice: contains nearly all the antioxidants, magnesium, phosphorus, and B vitamins contained in the healthy bran and germ.
Quinoa: is packed with more protein than any other grain, and each uncooked cup (about three servings) has 522 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids.
Farro: is one of the oldest grains on the planet, dating back some 6,000 years when it was cultivated in Mesopotamia. Rich in antioxidants and high in fiber and protein, farro is also packed with essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B, iron, magnesium and zinc. Whole grain farro is your best nutritional choice — adding a satisfying chew to salads, soups and meatless main dishes.
Oats: are particularly rich in avenanthramide, an antioxidant that protects the heart.
Freekeh: is anArabic grain and a low-carb form of ancient wheat that has up to four times more fiber than brown rice. Freekeh kernels are harvested while they’re young and then roasted. They contain more vitamins and minerals, such as immune-boosting selenium, than other grains. Once in your stomach, freekeh acts as a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of healthy bacteria that aid digestion.
Whole Grain Barley: lowers your cholesterolby10% compared to those who went without.
Buckwheat: is one of the best grain-based sources of magnesium, a wonder mineral that does everything from ease PMS symptoms to improve nerve functioning; and manganese, which boosts brain power.
Bulgur: is a great source of iron and magnesium. The fiber and protein powerhouse (a cup contains nearly 75% of the dietary fiber you need for the day, and 25% of the protein you should get) can be used in salads or tossed in soups.
Whole Rye: has four times more fiber than standard whole wheat and provides you with nearly 50% of your daily recommended amount of iron.
Whole Wheat Couscous: will net you 5 additional grams of fiber per serving.
Corn: is a good source of B vitamins, magnesium, and phosphorus. Whole corn is also thought to increase healthy gut flora, which can ward off diabetes, heart disease, and chronic inflammation. Yellow corn is also high in antioxidants.