It’s Wellness Wednesdays! We’ll talk about adding ancient grains to your diet to reap the health benefits. Ancient grains have been found in tombs and other archaeological sites around the world. However, they still grow today and provide many health benefits.
Humans have been eating ancient grains for over 10,000 years. These ancient grains are nutritional powerhouses that are not easily found in today’s modern diet. They are naturally gluten-free grains that can be found in the fields in their native grasses. These seeds have been used for centuries by people all over the world for their unique flavors, textures, and vitamins.
Today, many people are learning about these ancient grains, which include quinoa, teff, amaranth, spelt, kamut, farro, and others. Ancient Grains contain more than 10 times the daily recommended amount of fiber. They also contain high levels of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.
Many experts have found that the addition of ancient grains to a diet can have profound effects, perhaps just what you need to drop a few pounds and keep it off. Ancient grains also taste great, making them an easy way to include more grains in your diet.
We are starting to see more research regarding their unique health benefits, so it is time to embrace these health-boosting foods.
It’s easy to add ancient grains to your diet to strengthen your health. Look for these grains at your local grocery store, health food store, or online:
The Health Benefits of Ancient Grains
This small grain has been around for centuries and is popular in Ethiopia. It has high levels of protein, fiber, iron, and calcium.
- This ancient grain can help you lose weight by keeping hunger in check. It can also help manage diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels in the body. In addition, it has low saturated fat levels and a nutty flavor.
- You can cook, boil, steam, or bake with teff. The grain is popular in bread and pancake mixes. In Ethiopia, they commonly use teff to make injera, a type of sourdough flatbread.
2. Indian ricegrass.
This grain is found in the United States and is popular among Native Americans.
- Indian ricegrass is a wild plant that can be found throughout the southwest region of the country. It has high levels of protein and fiber. The taste is often compared to wheat because of the similarities.
- Indian ricegrass is usually turned into flour and can be made into bread.
This grain is often compared to wheat, but it has more nutrients and a nutty, sweet flavor. Spelt flour is a common substitute for wheat flour, so you can use it to make bread.
- Spelt has high levels of niacin, also known as vitamin B3, and helps energy levels. Niacin can help reduce cholesterol levels. Spelt also has important minerals such as iron, copper, zinc, and others.
- Spelt has mucopolysaccharides, which are complex carbohydrates, so the body slowly digests the grain after eating. This makes you feel full for a longer period of time.
- Spelt also has plant lignans that have been linked to the prevention of cancer and tumors.
This ancient grain has a nutty flavor and multiple nutrients. It has a high amount of iron and protein.
- Farro has complex carbohydrates to keep you full and a special type of carbohydrate, cyanogenic glucoside, that can help strengthen the immune system. Farro also has fiber that studies have shown can lower cholesterol.
- Farro can replace rice in your recipes. It can also be added to the diet by using it in soups.
- Farro has a chewy texture after cooking, so it can be used in a variety of salads. You can even add the grain to meatballs or other meat dishes. It can also be combined with pasta or steamed vegetables for a unique meal.
This ancient grain has lysine, an amino acid that is often missing from grains, and provides essential proteins. It also has fiber and iron.
- Amaranth has cancer-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps fight chronic health issues such as heart disease. It can help lower cholesterol and high blood pressure.
- Amaranth can be used to make porridges, so it can replace breakfast cereals and oatmeal. If it’s toasted first, it can also be used as a topping for soups, salads, or other dishes. Amaranth can be used as a thickener for soups, or it can replace rice in recipes. The nutty and toasty flavor of amaranth makes it easy to use in puddings.
Ancient grains have multiple health benefits and are easy to add to meals or snacks. They’re an important source of minerals and vitamins for people around the world.
In summary, ancient grains are another natural way of adding diversity to your diet. The best part is that by adding ancient grains to your diet, you won’t need to visit a doctor and take prescription medication. They’re a healthier and more sustainable option and they taste great too.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because your natural health and wellness is important. You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of poor health, including chronic disease, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use functional medicine and lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some chronic diseases (if you suffer from them). In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?
For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.
If you suspect that you aren’t getting the nutrients you need, consider shifting your focus from supplements to eating better.
But it is very important to note that we are not eating the same foods we ate years ago because the soils have been depleted of critical nutrients through current industrial farming practices. And because the soil is not as good as it used to be, the food supply (grown from the depleted soil) is not as good as it used to be. For example, you are not getting the same levels of magnesium as you would have gotten 30 or even 50 years ago.
Second, much of the food has been genetically altered, which can impact the inherent and unique nutritional composition that each food possess. For example, ancient einkorn wheat has less gluten, more protein, more Vitamin A, and more beta carotene, than modern genetically modified wheat.
Third, the toxic load in the environment today is much higher than 100 years ago. We can see this with global warming, toxic landfills, polluted oceans and waterways, etc. Toxicity levels interfere with nutrient assimilation and absorption not just into the foods, but into our bodies as well.
So… if you are unable to eat better, the supplements in my MaxHealth Total Wellness Bundle may provide the extra boost you need.
These are my favorite Wellness and Immune-Boosting Supplements to use! This MaxHealth Total Wellness Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency.
For best results make sure you use the supplements with dietary changes including a whole food plant-based diet, regular exercise (at least 2-3x per week), regular sleep (8 hours per night), and intermittent fasting (at least 1-3x per week).
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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