Vegan. Paleo. Gluten-free. Every day there seems to be a new health trend, and it’s difficult to know which diet or lifestyle to follow and how to ensure you’re the healthiest you can possibly be. But there’s one thing that experts agree on: whole grains are essential to your health. Besides their well-known fiber content, whole grains ensure your digestive system is running normally. We are supposed to eat three servings every day, but only 10 percent of those living in the United States actually follow those guidelines. Check out these 5 ways to include more whole grains in your daily life.
1. Bake Some Creative Granola
The main ingredient in granola is rolled oats, which are the whole grains that appear on most people’s breakfast plates and that you might already be eating. Oats can help your heart health and can even enable your body’s immune system to function better.
But you don’t want to be eating boring granola for breakfast. Make your own and add some interesting spices and flavours. Add some cinnamon, nutmeg and maybe even a clove for granola that uses familiar pumpkin pie spices. Dust on some cocoa or cacao powder. Add some fruit with dried strawberries or peaches. Indulge in your creative side and try a new blend every week.
2. Think Beyond Quinoa
We all love quinoa. It’s the star of the grain world. But there are so many other types of whole grains that are just as good for you. Try millet, amaranth, or sorghum. These can all be cooked the same way: just fill a pot with 1 and a 1/2 cups of water or chicken or vegetable stock, add salt and pepper and maybe some lemon juice, and let it cook for about 15-30 minutes. Making a big batch of grains on a Sunday afternoon is easy and gives you healthy side dishes or mains all week long. You can enjoy a grain bowl for breakfast with some fruit and a fried egg on top, or simply eat as a side dish to any protein.
3. Embrace Buckwheat
You might not be regularly buying buckwheat at the grocery store, but it’s time to start. Buckwheat has rutin, an antioxidant that doesn’t show up in any other grains of its kind, and that is thought to help with your body’s circulation. For a gluten-free and healthy take on waffles, use some buckwheat flour in place of white or whole wheat, and enjoy the health benefits of this whole grain.
4. Cook Up Some Black Rice
You most likely eat brown or at least white rice on a regular basis. Black rice is just as easy to cook, but it’s much healthier than any other type of rice because of its antioxidants. Eat any way you would brown or white rice: as a side dish or in a rice salad with vegetables.
5. Add Whole Grains to Every Meal
It’s easy to get enough whole grains if you eat some at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Add granola as a smoothie topping, make a grain salad with veggies and tuna or chicken, and make sure your dinner side dish includes black rice, millet or another interesting grain. Soon eating this way will become second nature, and you will be consuming the recommended 3 daily servings of whole grains.
See Also: How to Eat Healthy While at Work
If you struggle to consume enough whole grains every day, or even if you’re a fan but could always add more to your diet, check out these 5 easy ways to enjoy more whole grains. You will be healthier than ever thanks to the vitamins and antioxidants present in these foods, and your meals will never be boring, thanks to the amazing variety. Whether you’re enjoying some spicy-sweet granola for your morning meal or learning to love black rice at dinner, get into the groove of enjoying whole grains.
Have you ever tried any of the recipes mentioned above?