Look for these grains at your local grocery store, health food store, or online:
1. Teff. 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.
3. Spelt. 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.
4. Farro. 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.
5. Amaranth. 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.