Want to Get Healthier and Lose Weight? This List of Whole Grains Can Help!
Whole grains have become quite the buzzword in the health and wellness community. Although whole grains are an essential part of a healthy diet, sometimes the choices seem surprisingly limited.
Beyond the simple slices of whole grain toast and rice crackers, what other options exist? As a matter of fact, what exactly are whole grains, and how do they benefit someone’s health journey?
If you’re looking to lose weight in the New Year, we’ve compiled a power-packed whole grains list to help. Here’s what whole grains are all about, and how they can amp up your nutrition game in 2023.
The Definition of Whole Grains: What Are They?
So, what exactly are whole grains? What’s more, how do they serve us nutritionally?
Basically, a whole grain retains every component of its structural makeup. It’s a grain of any cereal that contains the endosperm, germ, and bran.
Refined grains, on the other hand, only contain the endosperm. Whole grains preserve their structural and nutritional integrity since they are not heavily processed.
How They Help With Weight Loss
Whole grains serve a vital role in weight loss. They’re shown to speed up metabolism by decreasing the calories retained during digestion.
Additionally, whole grains are easy to digest, and they’re also an excellent source of dietary fiber. Compared to processed carbs, whole grains absorb into the body faster, providing sustained energy for longer periods of time.
How They Benefit Gut Health
As mentioned previously, whole grains are high in fiber. Fiber lowers the risk of potential gut issues like constipation, bloating, or unwanted gaseousness. The fiber found in whole grains gives healthy bulk to your stool, making your digestive system function optimally.
Some whole grains even operate as prebiotics, meaning they feed healthy gut bacteria. A flourishing gut microbiome is essential to digestive health. Without good bacteria in our gut, we may experience a host of digestive issues. Of course, consuming whole grains as a part of a balanced diet contributes to a healthy gut as well.
Try These Incredible Sources of Whole Grain
There’s no need to eat the same whole grain meal every day. In fact, there is a wide range of dynamic whole grain options to explore. The next time you find yourself in a nutritional rut, try some of these incredible sources of whole grain deliciousness.
With 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber in a serving, this Mediterranean superstar is a delicious complement to any main course. It’s nutty and slightly chewy, and can oftentimes be used in salads, soups, or cooked to enjoy on its own.
Millet is gluten-free and can be enjoyed in a multitude of dishes. Most commonly found in granola or cereal, millet is tiny and offers a crunchy texture. In fact, millet can even be used as a binding agent! With 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber in a serving, this underrated whole grain is worth trying.
Arguably the most well-known of the whole grain family, barley is most famously found in soups and stews. This particular high-fiber grain is delicious as it is nutritious, with 3.5 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.
Indeed, amaranth deserves to be highlighted for its high protein and diverse capabilities. This gluten-free whole grain is most often found in a “puff” form. It’s great on top of yogurt or in granola. In one serving alone, amaranth contains 9.5 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.
Don’t be mistaken by its name, buckwheat is actually gluten-free! Generally, buckwheat is found in kasha, soba noodles, and even porridge. Enjoy this high-protein whole grain generously. In one serving, buckwheat contains approximately 11 grams of protein and 8.5 grams of fiber.
Finally, bulgur is an extremely filling and nourishing whole grain. Packed with essential nutrients, this generally under-the-radar grain contains 8 grams of fiber and 5.5 grams of protein.
Incorporate Whole Grain Foods into Your 2023 Diet
Want some creative ways to incorporate whole grain foods into your diet this year? Z.E.N. Foods can help. Our team of nutritionists and master chefs prepare healthy meals based on your goals and preferences and deliver everything straight to your door. If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to contact us at (310) 205-9368.