Getting Varied, Whole Grains

picture of whole grain parts

I think we all know that whole grains are best.

Hopefully, we all know why. If not, quick reminder:

Whole grains are left intact after harvesting. The bran, endosperm and germ are all ground up together to make the ingredients for our bread, cereals and crackers. This is why whole grain foods are often grainier and darker than their refined counterparts.

The refined grains are typically made of just the endosperm. Sure this makes them softer, prettier and longer lasting. But, it also leaves them void of nutrition and often full of filler. More scary stuff here.

Bottom line: whole grains are a complete and nutritious food that can support a healthy body. A healthy body is in better shape to defend itself against everything from heart disease to cancer to depression. Refined grains give you empty calories and crap you don’t need, both of which contribute to physical badness.

I bring this up because, in my effort to observe the diet my body is evolved to observe, I’m looking at the non animal derived foods. As a pescetarian, they’re the majority of what I eat. And while I’m fortunate to not have any trouble with gluten or yeast, I’m mindful of the fact that I probably eat more grains, wheat especially, than I need.

My reaction to this is not to cut back grains. For one thing, I’m breastfeeding, and cutting calories is not an option. Another thing is that quality grains are healthy, filling and inexpensive – all ideal in my book.  Nope, not cutting grains.

Instead, I want to vary them. This is a little tricky because in most stores wheat is the star. During cooler weather I eat a lot of oatmeal, but in the summer I just don’t want it. We do eat brown rice quite often, and quinoa works as a grain. I want to try hulled barley, buckwheat, amaranth, millet, kamut… There are actually a lot of options once you do a little homework.

The plan is to hit up a Harvest Health later this week and see what they’ve got. In the meantime, here’s some good reading on the subject.

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