This is part of a series of blog posts called “14 Days to a Healthier You”
Along with dark leafy greens and other vegetables, whole grains are important to a healthy, balanced diet. They provide sustained energy throughout the day, without the crash and burn associated with refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, and white rice. Moreover, they also help stabilize your blood sugar levels, which makes small amounts of whole grains perfect for people with insulin resistance or other blood sugar concerns. They also are chock full of vitamins, nutrients, and fiber.
Yet studies show that 95% of adults don’t eat enough whole grains and one in three consume none at all.
So what are whole grains? Below are some common whole grains that you can find at any health food store (and, increasingly, regular grocery stores). I’ve starred those that are gluten-free.
- Brown rice* (comes in many varieties! Experiment and find the one you like best)
- Oats (instant or quick cooking oats are not considered whole grain. Look for “classic” rolled oats or, even better, irish oats)
- Whole rye
- Whole barley
- Wild rice*
- Wheat (when buying processed wheat products, such as bread or pasta, look for 100% whole wheat)
RECOMMENDATION: Add at least one serving of whole grains to your daily diet. Start with 1/2 cup of grain and see if you need more, less, or if that amount is good for you. I love to have whole grains, such as brown rice or quinoa, for lunch because it gets me through the 3pm energy crash with plenty to spare!
Coconut Brown Rice (one of my go-tos!)
Warming Quinoa Porridge (perfect for a cold winter morning)
Sesame Black Rice with Tofu
Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro
The Perfect Pot of Brown Rice
Baked Coconut Brown Rice Pudding (a super simple dessert)
Quinoa with Sauted Mushrooms and Cheese
Chili-spiked Quinoa Corn Pudding