5 Of The Best Whole Grains

August 27, 2014

We all know that whole grains are good for you, but what are they and why are they so beneficial to your health? Here’s five of the best:

Brown rice

Brown rice is simply the unrefined version of white rice, meaning that it still has the hull and bran which is why it takes longer to cook and is much healthier than white rice.  Because none of the nutrients have been stripped out in the refining process, brown rice is extremely good for you.  It is high in fibre which can help to prevent colon cancer, high in manganese which is great for the nervous and reproductive systems, rich in selenium which can help prevent cancer, heart disease and arthritis and is also jam packed full of antioxidants which can reduce the risk of heart disease and slow the aging process.


Barley is a member of the grass family and is a cereal grain that has a pasta-like consistency when cooked, commonly used in soups.  It is thought that the fibre in barley can help with intestinal health, decreasing the risk of colon cancer and haemorrhoids.  Barley is also a great source of B-vitamin, niacin, which can help protect the cardiovascular system by lowering cholesterol.  It can also help to lower blood pressure and help with weight control due to the body digesting barley slowly, keeping you full for longer.


Pronounced keen-wah, this well-known superfood is trending at the moment, because of the large number of health benefits that it can provide.  Technically, it’s not a grain but a seed, although it has been shoved under the whole-grain umbrella because of how it is prepared and consumed.  Quinoa is packed full of protein, in fact one cup of cooked quinoa provides 9 grams of protein which is great for maintaining the structural components of our body tissue as well as helping the immune system to fight off infections and disease.  Quinoa is also gluten free.


Although oats may not be very appealing when they’re a hot lumpy mush in porridge they can provide us with many health benefits.  Just one cup of cooked oats equates to 147 calories and your body will digest them slowly, keeping you full for longer which is perfect if you’re trying to lose weight.  Oats are also high in soluble fibre which can help lower cholesterol and the insoluble fibre is helpful too, aiding with digestion and preventing constipation.  Not only are they good for your insides but oats can also do wonders for your outside.  They are commonly used to exfoliate, gently scrubbing away dry skin or used as a mask, helping the skin to retain moisture.


Like barley, rye is a member of the grass family and is a cereal grain, commonly used to make bread, beer and whiskey.  Rye is a great source of insoluble fibre which can help prevent gallstones and is helpful during weight loss, making you feel full for longer.  It can also help with menopause, normalizing the estrogenic activity and reducing the uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flushes.  It is also thought that rye can help to prevent breast cancer. If you’re wondering how rye can be eaten then consider using it as a substitute for oats in a porridge, or substituting wheat flour for rye flour which still has plenty of nutrients, even after it has been refined.

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