Ancient grains are exactly as the name would suggest; historical.
They are those highly nutritious foods that have been around for several hundred years and have remained relatively unchanged in that time. These grains are packed with more vitamins and minerals than refined grains like white flour, and are often gluten-free. This means they are a great alternative option for those with wheat sensitivities as ancient grains are usually well tolerated. The most commonly of these include quinoa, millet, amaranth, oatmeal, chia seeds, sorghum, farro, buckwheat, and spelt.
So now that you have a pretty good idea what ancient grains are, I bet you’re asking yourself, ‘So why should I eat them?’ Here are the top three reasons why you should make ancient grains part of your diet.
Ancient grains are much higher in protein than other whole grains and also have a lower glycemic index. Protein aids in hair, nail, and muscle growth and it’s what your body uses to repair and rebuild tissue. It’s essential in the production of enzymes, helps to regulate hormones, and builds strong bones and blood cells. Because we don’t store protein, it’s critical to eat some every day. This is especially important for strict vegetarians.
Ancient grains are packed with iron and zinc which help support a healthy immune function. Iron helps our bodies make red blood cells that distribute oxygen throughout the body, while being essential to so many healthy bodily functions. Zinc is a mineral that aids the immune system in fighting off bacteria, viruses, and is instrumental in wound healing.
Unlike other grain crops like wheat and rice, ancient grains don’t often require high levels of pesticides and fertilizers to thrive. This means that they’re often grown organically and have much lower traces of any nasty chemicals. This is better for the soil, the environment and your health. They are usually much less refined than other grains too.
Ancient grains are a fantastic alternative for everyone suffering from wheat allergies or digestive issues or those who care about their health and vitality. They’re also the healthiest choice for everyone looking to up their protein and nutrient intake and boost their immune system whilst keeping an eye on the environment too.
Purely Elizabeth is one of my favourite ancient grain companies because they offer pre-packaged, yummy cereals and snacks that make it easy to incorporate ancient grains into your daily diet.