Going down to the shops to pick up some bread used to be much simpler…should I choose white or brown today? Now it’s… should I choose kibbled, whole wheat, multi, organic, rye and what are ancient grains?
As we move away from more common types of grains like wheat in a bid to increase the variety in our diets or just be healthier, the emergence of new ingredients and terms like ‘ancient grains’ make up a part of our daily lives. So what are ancient grains, and why are they good for us?
According to the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council there are two categories of grains:
1. True Cereal Grains – Include wheat, oats, rice, corn (maize), barley, sorghum, rye, spelt and millet.
2. Pseudo-Cereal Grains – Include, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, to name a few.
In fact many of these ‘pseudo-cereals’ such as amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa labelled as ‘ancient grains’ are not actually grains but are in fact seeds from a number of different plant species that have been used by people for as long as recorded history!
Ancient grains both true and pseudo-cereal grains benefit lives in the fact they add variety to our diets as that their nutrient composition and profiles are different to modern day cereal grain staples e.g. higher, protein or fibre levels and some micro nutrients. Some are great gluten free alternatives to wheat or oats.
For more information on different grain types go to: http://www.glnc.org.au/grains-2/types-of-grains/
Reference: Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council www.glnc.org.au