Gluten free whole grains

Including whole grains in your daily diet is important and there are whole grains available without gluten for those with sensitivity or disease.

Whole grains are an important part of a healthy diet. People are encouraged to make half of the grains they eat daily, whole grains. Many grains contain gluten and there are a growing number of people that must avoid this protein due to sensitivity or disease, such as celiac disease. Does this mean that you have to avoid all whole grains because of the gluten? No.

Michigan State University Extension says that gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, rye and barley to name a few. When there is sensitivity or disease, the gluten may inhibit the absorption of nutrients, cause digestive complaints and maybe headaches. A gluten free diet may be your only treatment.

Whole grains are grains that still contain all of their beneficial layers of bran, starchy endosperm and inner germ. The benefits of having all of these layers in a grain has shown lower risk of heart disease, some cancers , Type 2 diabetes as well as increased satiety (feeling of being full) and a healthier weight. Whole grains contain low-glycemic carbohydrates along with an abundance of beneficial components including vitamins B6, E, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, thiamin and folate. Additionally, whole grains deliver important minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium and potassium. Whole grains also provide protein, fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals which protect health and healthy fats. With all of these good substances contained in whole grains, it is important to make them a part of a healthy diet and this can be done on a gluten-free diet.

Many gluten free foods are made from refined grains and starches which have taken out all of the nutrient-rich components from whole grains. To begin with, look for whole grains that are gluten free. Rice, wild rice, corn, millet and uncontaminated oats are just a few gluten free whole grains. You can include these grains in your meals by adding brown rice to soup and eating them for breakfast and adding them to southwest dishes. Popcorn is a good nutritious snack without too much butter and salt.

For more information on gluten-free whole grains, visit .

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