We frequently consume grains, but do you know what benefits they’re giving you? Rhea Dhanbhoora gives you the lowdown on seven popular grains
Most Indian kitchens stock barley, ragi, jowar and wheat. You know the benefits of more popular grains such as rice and corn, but have you thought about the benefits of other grains that you use daily? Here are seven of the most popular grains and their benefits. If you haven’t added them to your kitchen yet, what are you waiting for?
Think bread, cakes, pastries and muffins and you’ve got your definition of wheat. It’s a cereal grain, the third most produced after maize and rice and is popularly used in foods we eat every day.
CALORIES 340 CALORIES FOR 100G
The good news while whole wheat is the more healthy form, all wheat has benefits. It contains vitamins, minerals, magnesium, zinc and manganese. It has the ability to control obesity, improve your body’s metabolism and is rich in magnesium, which can prevent diabetes. The grain also reduces inflammation and promotes gastrointestinal health. It’s especially good for women as it balances estrogen levels.
Barley is a common grain incorporated in soups, stews and gravies. It is a major cereal grain and is also used in beverages as malt.
CALORIES 355 CALORIES FOR 100G
The good news Barley helps control blood sugar and lowers glucose levels. It also reduces blood pressure, improves lipids and lowers cholesterol. Additionally, if you’re trying to lose weight, it slows digestion and helps you eat fewer calories.
Also known as white oats, the popular breakfast grain is made into porridge or used to make delicious cookies and treats. It’s also used as a coating for Scottish cheese and in puddings.
CALORIES 70 CALORIES FOR 100G
The good news Oats not only fill you up, keeping you from eating junk through the day, they also contain vitamins, magnesium and manganese, which are good for bone formation. Oats also help reduce cholesterol and are good for people who suffer from diabetes or digestive issues. They also protect your skin and help retain its moisture.
In India, ragi flour is combined with normal flour which makes this grain important, especially since it is easily cultivated here. The fibre rich grain is also a common ingredient in different types of alcohol.
CALORIES 380 IN 100G
The good news Not only is millet alkaline and easy to digest, it keeps you from getting constipated and reduces the effect of migraines. And, if you want protection from heart attacks and food that will calm your mood, this grain does well.
Rye is used in whiskey and vodka preparations and is also eaten whole or rolled. Whole rye (used as a condiment in dishes) is the healthier option.
CALORIES 340 FOR 100G
The good news If your body is not fond of wheat, rye is a good option. It helps reduce body weight and also improves your blood glucose profile. Like most other grains, it keeps you full for longer.
Another staple in Indian households, jowar is also used in alcoholic beverages but more popularly for couscous, flour and molasses.
CALORIES 340 FOR 100G
The good news Pick this grain to protect yourself from diabetes and to prevent cancerous tumours. It helps manage cholesterol and keeps celiac disease in check. Jowar’s antioxidants are also beneficial.
Similar to sunflower seeds, this is used to make flour and a type of noodle called soba. It’s also used to make thin crepes and forms of tea.
CALORIES 345 IN 100G
The good news Want a gluten-free alternative? It’s a good idea to use buckwheat. The energy source also has a lot of protein, lowers blood glucose and decreases blood pressure.