The Top 5 Grains You Should Be Eating

The Top 5 Grains You Should Be EatingThere has been plenty of news in recent years on how grains are bad for health and why everyone ought to stop eating grains.  While these have been merely claims, there is plenty of research and evidence based results regarding whole grain consumption and health, especially heart health.

The grains are a necessary aspect of the regular diet.  In fact, grains are so necessary that they constitute a portion of the previous U.S. food pyramid.  A grain is any food which comes from wheat, barley, rice, oats, and cereal grains.  The foods we eat are considered grain products and some common grain products include pasta, rice, bread, oats, cereals, tortillas, and grits.  There are two forms of grains present in markets today: whole grains and refined grains.  The majority of this discussion will describe and discuss whole grains and the health benefits we obtain by the regular consumption of these foods.

Whole grains are a pivotal aspect in the everyday diet.  For individuals looking to stay healthy, it is highly recommended to obtain sufficient grains from whole wheat products regularly.  In fact, the consumption of regular whole grains as part of a healthy diet is known to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, including heart disease.  Whole wheat grains are loaded with high amounts of dietary fiber, plentiful B-vitamins including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate, and they contain sufficient levels of iron, magnesium (important for muscle contractions), and selenium (important for immune system).  While the consumption of whole grains may be self-explanatory to some and while others may have cut them from the diet, the consumption of whole grains can have a marked impact on the reduction of heart disease, obesity, type II diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.  Listed in the topics below are five grains you ought to add to your diet to help prevent chronic diseases.

Top 5 Grains 


Many individuals leading a healthy lifestyle may already know what quinoa is, but for a large population, quinoa is still a mystery food.  Quinoa is a small, circular shaped grain which has gained popularity over recent years due to its health benefits.  Some health benefits of quinoa include a high level of protein per serving (more than many other similar grains), loaded with polyphenols, three grams of fiber per serving, and gluten free [2].  Quinoa contains nine essential amino acids per serving, which makes this grain a complete protein.  In addition, the polyphenols in quinoa are important for fighting and protecting the body against illnesses, since polyphenols are antioxidants to protect against certain cancers.  Lastly, the fiber content of a serving of quinoa is about 10 percent of the daily recommended value, making this grain choice one of the best choices for lunch or dinner.


One form of whole wheat derived from wheat kernels is bulgar [3].  Bulgar is a partially pre-cooked whole grain naturally high in fiber content, low in fat, gluten free, and is a great low-calorie option for vegetarians.  High in fiber, one serving of bulgar can offer about eight grams of dietary fiber, which is three times the amount per serving offered from quinoa.  There is a good amount of protein per serving, with slightly over five grams per serving and there are a total of about 150 calories per serving.

Brown Rice

Rice is one of the most popular foods worldwide and one type common is known as brown rice.  Brown rice is a variety of rice where the outer layer (hull) is removed, leaving nutrient dense rice.  One of the best features of brown rice is that it is low in fat and contains no cholesterol, while providing ample fiber (over three grams per serving), potassium, and protein (over five grams per serving).  In addition, brown rice offers a high amount of magnesium, iron, and Vitamin B-6 per serving, making brown rice one of the most nutritious forms of grain.  Brown rice has been given a good rep for its ability to regulate body weight and blood sugar values.  Due to its high fiber content, brown rice is known to help keep you full for much longer than other grains [4], making this rice great for those looking to regulate body weight.

Whole-Grain Barley

Consuming whole-grain barley has been touted in recent years as a heart healthy food.  Recent studies have suggested that a five-week period of regularly consuming one-half cup of barley can lower cholesterol levels by nearly 10 percent.

Whole Wheat Couscous

Couscous is a grain product made from ground pasta derived from semolina.  Similar to the consistency of quinoa, couscous is made from semolina flour and is often used as a base for many vegetarian meals.  Couscous has a moderate amount of fiber (over two grams), adequate protein (six grams), and is a low-calorie choice (175 calories) per serving.  Couscous is an ideal choice for combining with meals and can serve as a nutritious aspect in any diet.






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, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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