Last Updated on March 28, 2023 by Lauren Beck
Grains are a staple food in many cultures around the world. They are a great source of nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals. There are many different types of grains, each with its own unique flavor and texture.
In this article, we will explore 15 different types of grains, their health benefits, and how to cook them.
15 Different Types of Grain
- Quinoa – A complete protein with all the essential amino acids, quinoa is a versatile and gluten-free grain that can be used in many dishes.
- Brown rice – A whole grain that is high in fiber and nutrients, brown rice is a healthier option than white rice.
- Oats – A popular breakfast food, oats are high in fiber and protein, and can be used in a variety of recipes.
- Barley – A nutty and chewy grain that is high in fiber and antioxidants, barley is a great addition to soups and stews.
- Millet – A gluten-free grain that is high in protein, millet has a mild flavor and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
- Buckwheat – Despite its name, buckwheat is not a type of wheat and is gluten-free. It has a nutty flavor and is commonly used to make pancakes and soba noodles.
- Amaranth – A small grain with a nutty flavor, amaranth is high in protein, fiber, and minerals.
- Rye – A grain that is closely related to wheat, rye has a strong flavor and is commonly used to make breads and crackers.
- Spelt – An ancient grain that is related to wheat, spelt has a nutty flavor and is commonly used to make breads, pasta, and cereals.
- Corn – A versatile grain that can be eaten fresh or dried, corn is high in fiber and antioxidants.
- Wheat – One of the most widely cultivated grains in the world, wheat is used to make a variety of foods, including bread, pasta, and cereal.
- Kamut – An ancient grain that is related to wheat, kamut has a buttery flavor and is high in protein and nutrients.
- Farro – A type of wheat that is commonly used in Italian cuisine, farro has a nutty flavor and is high in protein and fiber.
- Sorghum – A gluten-free grain that is high in antioxidants and fiber, sorghum is commonly used to make flour, syrup, and beer.
- Teff – An ancient grain that is commonly used in Ethiopian cuisine, teff is high in protein, fiber, and iron. It has a mild, nutty flavor and is commonly used to make injera, a sourdough flatbread.
What Are Grains?
Grains are the edible seeds of cereal grasses. They are a rich source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Grains are used to make a variety of foods, including bread, pasta, cereal, and snacks.
Health Benefits of Grains
Grains are an important part of a healthy diet. They provide many health benefits, including:
- Promoting digestion and regularity due to their high fiber content
- Reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke due to their ability to lower cholesterol and blood pressure
- Providing energy due to their high carbohydrate content
- Supporting the growth and repair of tissues due to their protein content
- Providing important vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, and B vitamins
How to Cook Grains?
Different grains require different cooking methods. Here are some basic guidelines:
- Rinse grains before cooking to remove any dirt or debris.
- Cook grains in a pot with water or broth. The ratio of water to grain varies depending on the grain. Follow the package instructions or look up a recipe for guidance.
- Bring the water or broth to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the grains are tender.
- Drain any excess water and fluff the grains with a fork before serving.
What’s the Difference Between Whole Grains and Refined Grains?
Whole grains are grains that contain all three parts of the grain kernel: the bran, germ, and endosperm. Refined grains have had the bran and germ removed, leaving only the endosperm. This process removes much of the fiber, vitamins, and minerals from the grain. Whole grains are healthier than refined grains because they contain more nutrients and fiber.
How Many Grains Should We Consume in a Day?
The recommended daily intake of grains varies depending on age, sex, and physical activity level. In general, it is recommended that adults consume 6-8 servings of grains per day, with at least half of those servings coming from whole grains .
Which Grains Are Healthiest?
All grains provide important nutrients, but some are healthier than others. Here are some of the healthiest grains:
- Quinoa: high in protein, fiber, and iron
- Brown rice: high in fiber and minerals
- Oats: high in fiber and beta-glucans, which help lower cholesterol
- Barley: high in fiber and antioxidants
- Buckwheat: high in protein and minerals
- Amaranth: high in protein and minerals
- Rye: high in fiber and antioxidants
- Spelt: high in protein and fiber
What Grains Can You Eat for Breakfast?
Many grains are great for breakfast. Here are some ideas:
- Oatmeal: top with fruit, nuts, and honey for a healthy and filling breakfast
- Granola: mix with yogurt and fruit for a crunchy and satisfying breakfast
- Quinoa: use as a base for a breakfast bowl with eggs and vegetables
- Whole grain bread: use to make toast or sandwiches with avocado and eggs
Grains are an important part of a healthy diet. They provide a variety of nutrients and health benefits. There are many different types of grains, each with its own unique flavor and texture. To get the most out of your grains, choose whole grains over refined grains and aim for at least 6-8 servings per day. With so many delicious ways to enjoy grains, there’s no reason not to add them to your daily meals.