Whole grains are an essential component to a regular (yes, even gluten free) healthy diet. Conveniently, whole grains are also easy to find in stores, cheap to buy, and require little to no preparation time (Although we’ll go over a few delicious recipes in a moment). Here are a few of the health benefits that eating whole grain foods offer, as well as a few easy ways to prepare them.
Health Benefits of Whole Grains
Science has shown that the consumption of whole grains can ward off certain chronic diseases. Also, whole grains may help to ward off certain systemic diseases and certain conditions such as heart attack and stroke, and diabetes. The fiber in whole grains has benefits for the heart, and fiber can help to reduce blood cholesterol levels.
Whole grains are also excellent sources of vitamins and minerals. The bodily functions that benefit from B vitamins are too numerous to mention here. Also, whole grains can make you feel full, which, if you are someone who is looking to lower your daily calorie intake, or to stay at a healthy weight, there are benefits to a diet inclusive of whole grains.
Whole Grain Foods
Luckily for us all, whole grains come in a variety of different types. Many of us think of bread when we think of whole grains, and for good reason because many breads (although not all brown-colored bread is made from whole grains, some is made from molasses to get color, so check the label carefully for the words whole grains.) are made from whole grains.
Brown rice, for those of you whose diets have gluten-free requirements, brown rice is a perfect choice. Consider this brown rice recipe: it’s simple and probably not life-changing, but it’s a delicious way to integrate whole grains into a diet.
Whole Grain Brown Rice
First, sauté some white or yellow onion (one whole small onion for onion lovers, cut it in half for those wanting less), when the onion begins to turn translucent, add in garlic (two or three cloves—a head of garlic for those garlic lovers!). When the garlic has started to turn color, add in 3 cups of veggie stock—low sodium preferably—and bring the stock to a simmering boil.
When it’s boiling add the rice and cook it, covered and on low heat, for forty minutes (Sometimes, depending on the age and size of the rice, this may take longer, so be prepared to re-cover the pot if the rice hasn’t completely absorbed the stock). When the rice is cooked, fluff it up to get out some of its steam, and then serve. This simple recipe could work great for pre-planned meals during the week. Simply take out the portions by the day, and reheat it at home or work. Simple!