There are many different types of grains that people around the world eat as a staple food. Grains in some form are usually the main dish at all meals for many nations. They are complex carbohydrates, strong in nutrients, contains high fiber, minerals, Vitamins B with low fat and salt.
A whole grain is made up of 3 components:
Bran: rich is fiber, Vitamins B, proteins, fats and minerals. It helps to promote the removal of wastes from the body and helps to stabilize the blood sugar levels
Endosperm: it is the remains after the grain has been mill and serves as a rich source of complex carbohydrates
Germ: contains vitamins, A, B and E with fat and protein.
All grains that have been refined or processed are usually being stripped of the bran as well as the germs.
The Different Grains Explained
This is an ancient grain that is originated from Egypt’s Nile valley. It has a rich flavour and is a member of the grass family. As such, it is often tolerated by people who are sensitive to wheat. It also contains more protein and other nutrients as compared to wheat.
The grains are usually soaked overnight before cooking and the flour can be used to replace the traditional flours. The flour makes excellent pasta and does not fall apart easily. Some typical foods are kamut flour, kamut bread, kamut whole grain and kamut snacks, etc.
This food was first grown in the North America and is now one of the most widely used grain in the world. Although it is high in Vitamins A, it should not be eaten daily because of the high risk of developing intolerance to it. It is served as a vegetable and used in griddlecakes, corn chips, tortillas, etc. Corn is also used to produce grits which can be used in porridge or mixed with other grains, etc.
This is another ancient grain which can be grinded into very fine, white flour which is used to make whole-grain breads or white gravies. Although it may take a very long time to cook, the grain is very tasty with a nutty flavour. It is serves as an excellent source of potassium, niacin and thiamin. The grain is also sometimes used with wheat to make light yeast bread.
This is an ancient Aztec grain with seeds about the size of millet. Amaranth flour is gluten free and can be cooked into batter or cereal by adding 15 to 25% to another type of grain. Amaranth can also be found in graham crackers as well as packaged cereals.
Although buckwheat cannot be considered as a grain, it is commonly being used in the same way as grains because of its rich nutrient contents. As such, people who are sensitive to wheat can use buckwheat as a substitute. It is strong in flavour and is commonly being mixed with bland grains such as millet, rice or corn. Buckwheat is rich in Vitmains B and E as well as calcium. It can be found in Soba noodles and Kasha.
This is a staple food for almost all nations around the world. Rice also produces more food per acre than any other types of grains. White rice has the husk and several outer layers as well as the germs removed, which makes it less nutritious. On the other hand, brown rice only has the indigestible husk removed but still has the whole kernel. Brown rice is rich in nutrients such as Vitamins B and E, protein, iron and linoleic acid.
Being one of the more common cereal grains, it can also be used as a whole grain and can be used for breakfast. It has many other uses such as in burgers or stews, etc. The grain is also high in biologic value.
It is a cereal that is commonly being used in Europe. It is also one of the oldest from the ancient grains family and is sometimes used as birdseed. Millet contains considerable amount of Vitamins B, proteins, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
Since it has a bland flavour, it is normally being used the same way as corn or rice. It is also generally well tolerated by people who are sensitive to grains because it is highly digestible. You can reduce the cooking time from 45 minutes to 20 in order to obtain a fluffy grain with crunchy texture.
It is a cereal grain that is normally grown for its straw and grain. Rye flour is usually used to vary the nutritive content of breads. It is also used to thicken soups and casserole dishes as well as to make gravies.
This is a grain-like ancient fruit that originates from the Andes Mountain areas of South America. During the Inca civilization, Quinoa was used as one of the 3 staple foods along with corn and potatoes.
Quinoa contains more protein than any other types of grains with an average of 16%, compared to 7.5% for rice, 14% for wheat and 10% for millet. In fact, some varieties of quinoa contain protein as high as 20%. Besides its high protein values, quinoa also provides sugars, oil (essential linoleic acid), starch, minerals, fiber and vitamins. Quinoa actually comes close to a single food that can supply all the life-sustaining nutrients.
Quinoa is quick to cook, tasty and easy to digest. Its flour is low in gluten and can be used a substitute in pancakes, cakes and pastries, etc. Its pale yellow seeds can also be cooked and eaten as substitute for rice or other grains. These seeds are covered with bitter-tasting resin that can be easily rinsed off before cooking.
Spelt is related to wheat and was grown in Europe more than 9,000 years ago. The grain was forgotten after the 19th century, partly due to its lower yield in comparison to wheat. The grain also needs to be mechanically de-hulled before milling which makes it troublesome to prepare. One advantage of spelt is that is can be grown without any fertilizers, insecticides or pesticides and can survive climates with difficult winters. The spelt kernel is also tightly surrounded by a very strong hull, which offers excellent protection.
Spelt contains more protein than wheat and can be substitute for wheat flour. It also contains more carbohydrates, vitamins, fats, minerals and trace elements as compared to wheat. Spelt is highly digestible and has high water solubility. It is commonly used in pasta, pancakes, etc and does not pose a problem for people who are sensitive to wheat.
Triticale is a hybrid cereal grain that is derived from a cross between rye and wheat. Compared to wheat, it has higher protein content and has slightly better balanced amino acid composition. It is normally served in hot cereal with maple syrup or honey.
This is a cereal food that has high protein content of 14% and is a good source of copper, zinc, iron and calcium. Depending on the variety, the grain can be either black or white and can be made into flour which can be used to substitute other flours. The grain can be eaten either cooked or uncooked with the latter being added to most baked foods as substitute for nuts or small grains.
This is actually a group of cereal grasses that are made up of many types of grains. Each of the different species has different amino acid content as well as mineral and vitamin spectrum. Wheat is normally used for the production of fine flour with most of its nutritive properties being removed in the milling process. One advantage of doing this is for its extended shelf life. It is common to have sensitivity to this grain due to its over-abundant use by the society. If possible, try to minimize the use of wheat and go for substitutes such as buckwheat, spelt, millet or quinoa.