Focus on Whole Grains
Most health experts agree on one thing: Our penchant for refined grains, such as white flour, is feeding into the nation’s health problems. Today, refined grains and flours are poured into everything, from toast to snack crackers to cereals. These high-glycemic, starchy foods, which tend to be rapidly absorbed into your blood stream, are often packed with other undesirable ingredients, such as added sugars and fats (think chocolate chip cookies and donuts). But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Whole grains—designed as natured intended them, with their bran outer covering and inner germ intact—are packed in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, healthy fat, and phytochemicals. That’s why hundreds of studies have found that eating a diet rich in whole grains can reduce your risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, asthma, colorectal cancer, obesity and even gum disease. The chewy, high-fiber nature of grains can increase your satiety levels—which means you feel fuller for longer. Try to make the most of your grain servings, by feasting on them in their intact, natural form as often as possible.
Tips for Boosting Intact Whole Grains
- Think beyond wheat. There’s a world of whole grains awaiting you, including amaranth, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, corn, millet, oats, quinoa, rye, sorghum, teff, and wild rice.
- Try grains that are really “whole”. Try to replace the side-dish on your menu, such as mashed potatoes, with a cooked intact grain, such as cooked quinoa, spelt, rye-berries, or farro. All you have to do is cook the grain with water, according to package directions, and serve it as you would rice. These grains are a delicious accompaniment for curry, stir-fries, beans, and pasta sauce.
- Sprinkle cooked whole grains, such as quinoa, brown rice or barley, into salads, soups, and casseroles for a crunchy, nutritious twist.
Reading: Follow along with The Plant-Powered Diet, pages 80 – 105.
Try this whole grain recipe for my Sorghum Berry Breakfast Bowl today!
You Can Win a Prize!
We will be watching your comments on the blog and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) during the challenge, so be sure to let us know how you are doing. We are going to select one winner at the end of the challenge on January 21, 2018 based on participation and comments on the blog and social media.
- Prize: An Organic Plant-Powered Farmers Market Bag filled with Plant-Powered Goodies! (Value $75)
Read the full rules here.
Previous Go Plant-Power Challenge posts:
Main image: Mediterranean Edamame Quinoa Bowl, Sharon Palmer, RDN