Monday, July 16, 2012

                                         
Ancient grains are not bird seed.




Considering the obesity epidemic and aging population, I’ve been thinking about painless ways to change eating habits. Familiar routines are hard to break. We tend to reach for the same foods and are not adventurous with trying new tastes.
                New products are available that encourage us to try grains that have been around since ancient times. Yesterday I microwaved a packet of pre-cooked quinea mixed with rice. When I opened it, the rich fragrance encouraged me to mouth a half spoonful. I savored the full-bodied mixture.
                Why bother with “ancient grains?” These victuals not only fill you up but also reduce risk of colon cancer, obesity, heart disease, and hypertension. According to American Dietetic Association guidelines, the most important foods are whole grain, high-fiber carbohydrates. Read labels when shopping for whole grain foods. They should be listed as the first ingredient.
                For meal planning, consider reducing corn products and white flour, which are low in protein and fiber. Instead, add more nuts, beans, buckwheat, flax cereal, oatmeal, and barley. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that at least half of grains we eat should be whole, such as intact, ground, cracked, or flaked.
               
Doctor Clem recommends including these eight grains in your meals.
                *Amaranth: The Aztecs cultivated this high protein grain, rich in calcium, folic acid, magnesium, and potassium. It’s used in breakfast porridge, pancake batter, salads, and soups.
*Buckwheat: This grain is common in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. It can be used in pancakes, noodles, side dishes, and salads. It is rich in protein, calcium, iron, manganese, potassium, and zinc.
*Farro (emmer): One of the first crops cultivated in the near East, is loaded with fiber, iron, magnesium, niacin, and zinc. It enhances the taste and texture of salads, side dishes, and baked goods.
*Millet: High in magnesium, and one of the earliest cultivated crops. It’s a staple in China, Africa, and India. Millet is used in baking, as a side dish, and mixed into salads. Some people eat it as a snack.
*Quinea (pronounced “kin-wah”): An ancient South American treat known as the “mother of all grains.” It’s protein rich and is fortified with iron, phosphorus, and potassium. If it’ not pre-cooked, rinse it off first. The saponin coating has a bitter taste. After fifteen minutes of cooking, serve it as a side dish or add it soups and salads.
*Rye: An ingredient in bread and crackers. It’s served as side dish or added to soups and salads. Soaking it overnight shortens the cooking time. Rye is high in folic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and riboflavin.
*Sorghum: Popular in Africa, and rich in fiber, niacin, phosphorus. In India, sorghum is baked into flatbread. It is ground into flour for baked goods in the U.S...
*Teff: One of the tiniest grains, the seeds are smaller than a pinhead. Teff is high in calcium and Vitamin C, and is an ingredient in cereals. In Ethiopia, teff is ground into flour and baked into injera, a soft, spongy bread. It can be sprinkled on salads and added to soups. 

Here is a link for vegetarian and ancient grains recipes. http://www.wholegrainscouncil.org/recipes

Source: First Report Managed Care, Special Disease State Update, June 2012.
Consumer Reports, On Health, Vol. 24, Number 7, July 2012.

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