Grains are essential for cooking many dishes. Grains are everywhere and they are the perfect source of carbohydrates which is needed for energy. Pasta and bread would nearly cease to exist without grains. Here are three of the world’s healthiest grains.
Barley is a wonderfully versatile cereal grain with a rich nutlike flavor and an appealing chewy, pasta-like consistency. Its appearance resembles wheat berries, although it is slightly lighter in color.
• Lower Cholesterol- Barley’s dietary fiber is high in beta glucan, which helps to lower cholesterol by binding to bile acids and removing them from the body via the feces. Bile acids are compounds used to digest fat that are manufactured by the liver from cholesterol.
• Protection Against Atherosclerosis- Barley is a good source of niacin, a B vitamin that provides numerous protective actions against cardiovascular risk factors.
The process that produces brown rice removes only the outermost layer, the hull, of the rice kernel and is the least damaging to its nutritional value. It is great for plenty of healthy dishes.
• Energy Production and Antioxidant Protection- Manganese helps produce energy from protein and carbohydrates and is involved in the synthesis of fatty acids, which are important for a healthy nervous system, and in the production of cholesterol, which is used by the body to produce hormones.
• Rich in Selenium- Selenium is an essential component of several major metabolic pathways, including thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems, and immune function.
What better way to gain the strength and energy to carry you through a hectic morning schedule than with a steaming bowl of freshly cooked oatmeal. Oats are harvested in the fall but are available throughout the year and can add extra nutrition to a variety of healthy dishes.
• Lower Cholesterol Levels- Oats, oat bran, and oatmeal contain a specific type of fiber known as beta-glucan. Since 1963, study after study has proven the beneficial effects of this special fiber on cholesterol levels.
• Stabilize Blood Sugar- Studies also show that beta-glucan has beneficial effects in diabetes as well. Type 2 diabetes patients given foods high in this type of oat fiber or given oatmeal or oat bran rich foods experienced much lower rises in blood sugar compared to those who were given white rice or bread.