Grains have long been a staple among most cultures around the world. Made up of a variety of different plants, grains offer a wide selection of vitamins, minerals, and fibre, and most experts agree that we should be consuming them every day.
Our bodies need grains to function properly, and there should be special focus on whole and ancient grains, while at the same time it’s important to avoid refined grains as much as possible. Eating whole grains on a daily basis is vital to maintaining good health, and any trainer should try and incorporate these following grains into their meal plans.
Quinoa is originally from South America but has grown in popularity across the world over the last few years. It cooks incredibly quickly, it’s packed with tons of protein, and it has fewer carbs than most other grains.
It’s also high in a number of other minerals, including manganese and phosphorous, and is one of those few foods that could comfortably sit inside the “superfood” category without too much debate.
Historians believe that one of the reasons the Roman gladiators were so strong was because they a diet that consisted of a lot of barley and beans, and there’s plenty of scientific evidence to back up these claims.
Barley, another ancient grain, has been eaten by humans for thousands of years, and the benefits of consuming it on a daily basis are numerous. It offers more fibre than any other grains, along with an assortment of powerful phytonutrients that can assist the immune system and fight back bad cholesterol. Along with this, barley boasts enough protein and minerals to keep the body strong for the majority of a day.
Buckwheat is naturally free of gluten, and is most commonly eaten as a cereal, where it can be found in everything from noodles to pancakes. It’s been associated with a decreased risk of both heart disease and cancer, while the soluble fibre found in buckwheat can help strengthen our immune systems.
On top of that, research has found that buckwheat can help the body deal with excess blood glucose, meaning that it should be high on the list of grain eaten by anyone that tends to suffer from any sugar-related problems, such as diabetes, and also wants some extra energy to play now on their favourite training regime.
Another grain that’s gluten-free, amaranth has long been a favourite for those looking to improve their overall health as quickly as possible. The amount of protein that can be found in amaranth can be as high as 15 percent, which is more than many other of the popular grains, including rye and buckwheat.
Amaranth also brings a selection of other vitamins and minerals to the table, including magnesium and manganese, while also being a good source of dietary fibre. It should be noted that in terms of protein, however, amaranth shouldn’t be a first choice, as other protein-sources, like quinoa, are a much better option.