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Saturday, November 19, 2011

grain / gluten in your diet

There is so much debate over grain and grain products.
Books such as "dangerous grains", "Going Against grain" have been read by millions of people and grains, especially ones with gluten seem to be something that needed to be avoided by everyone.
Of course if you have celiac disease and gluten intolerance you will want to avoid them but if you don't would it still be a good idea to eliminate it from your diet?

Let's look at different types of grains.

CORN fine source of vitamin B1, B5, C, E, folic acid and magnesium and phosphorus. Phytochemicals and carotenoid are found as well. is gluten free

OATS Very good source of manganese, selenium and phosphorous. Also good source of magnesium and iron. Oats' is high in dietary fibre, which is known to help to lower cholesterol by binding bile acids and removing them from the body. Studies also found that it stabilises blood sugar levels.

RICE high quality amount of Vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B6 as well as manganese, iron, selenium. magnesium, phosphorus and trace minerals. It can help treat hypercholesterolemia and gamma-oryzanol, which is known not only lowers cholesterol but exerts growth-promoting properties as well. is gluten free

WHEAT healthy level of vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and E and folic acids as well as calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, protein, magnesium and iron.

AMARANTH this tiny but mighty grain (not true grain, amaranth is seed) is high in easily absorbed protein (lysine and methionine). High in fibre, healthy fats, iron, calcium, magnesium. excellent sores of vitamin B2, B3, B5 and good source of B6 and folic acids. It also contains tocotrienols and squalene, which are known to reduce cholesterol. is low GI and gluten free.

BARLEY good source of fibre, selenium, magnesium, copper, phosphorous and vitamin B3

BUCKWHEAT not true grain but a fruit seed contains flavonoids rutin and quercetin which has significant health promoting actions- Very good source of magnesium, manganese, fibre, phosphorus, pantothenic acid and protein, which contains all eight essential amino acids. is gluten free

MILLET good source of protein, phosphorous and magnesium as well as B vitamins. is alkalising and gluten free.

QUINOA this seed of a plant is a very good source of magnesium, manganese and has a very fine protein source (all essential amino acids and highly absorbable) and healthy levels of vitamin B2, E and fibre. Also good source of iron, phosphorous, copper and zinc. is gluten free.

RYE very good source of dietary fibre, phosphorous, magnesium and vitamin B1

SPELT distant elder cousin of modern wheat is an excellent source of complex special kind of carbohydrates, mucopolysaccharides, which has been found to stimulate immune system as well as help to lower cholesterol levels, and to play a role in blood clotting. also a good source of vitamin B. It has gluten but is more fragile than gluten wheat so it may be easier to digest.

TRITICALE hybrid of wheat and rye. higher protein content compared to wheat and has lysine. similar nutritional values as other grains.

So why some people say NO to grains???

-high in carbohydrates and high in calories, especially when compared to the nutrients they provide
-has anti-nutrients-substances that impair the absorption and utilisation of many nutrients
-low on many vitamins such as vitamin C, A
-most of the grains are acidic
-contributes many diseases such as obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, autoimmune syndrome, dermatitis etc

I haven't found any reasons to stay away from grains. I do consciously vary the types so that I don't just eat one type of grain and include more gluten free grains because I found that they are easier to digest. and also those gluten free grains or seeds such as quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat etc are so high in amazing nutrients. I don't avoid gluten especially sprouted and/ or sprouted form. By soaking, sprouting and fermenting you can reduce the amount of anti nutrients substances that can inhibit the absorption of some vital minerals. Some studies found that by these techniques the content of gluten is significantly reduced and more digestible, not to mention increased amount of overall nutrient contents. Even in raw diet you can include these sprouted grains in recipes.
Because I am quite active I feel that I need carbohydrate to sustain my energy and all the nutrients found in grain products are vital to my health. Of course as I said if you are gluten, carbohydrate sensitive you need to be careful with the intake of these grains. and also some can tolerate grain better than the others.
Listening to your body is very important.

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