Getting Granular About Whole Grains

Grains are some of the most important crops in the world. Grains have fueled civilizations for thousands of years and play a vital role in fueling your body. If you want to learn more about the influence of grains on our society’s development, read a favorite of mine, Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond.

When thinking about whole grains, one may imagine whole wheat bread in the pantry. However, our ancient societies survived on so much more than just wheat. Our diets consisted of corn, barley, rye, oats, millet, rice, quinoa and many others.

Today, grains remain as a rich source of carbohydrates, which your body uses as fuel for energy. In its complex or non-processed form, it can also serve as a great source of nutrients and vitamins, like thiamine, niacin, and potassium. However, they are mostly lost in the processing, which makes finding whole grain products all that more important for your diet. In fact, nearly half of your calories should come from complex carbs, to fuel your body and supply it with important nutrients, which I tweeted about:

@eNaturalHealing, understandably, wanted to clarify what I meant about grains to eliminate any confusion:

And @eNautralHeal is exactly right. Regardless of gluten sensitivity, grains are still vital to our diet. Gluten is the nutrient that can trigger allergic reactions in some. It is widely found in some grains like wheat, barley and rye. However, that leaves many important gluten-free grains, which include buckwheat, quinoa, millet, some forms of oats, etc. If you think you may benefit from going gluten-free, try taking our gluten sensitivity self-test and learn more about starting a gluten-free diet.