“What is so great about fancy-named grains?” Flaxseed, chia, quinoa – are there real benefits to these foods? Although these grains may be new to us, they have been around for centuries. Some may think that grains are complex, but they are fairly simple and have many health benefits. Let’s take a closer look at some great grain myths and find out about the facts.

Some may think that grains are high in calories. On the contrary, grains, when consumed in proper portions, may help you lose weight. Flaxseed for example, is packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fat, and antioxidants. The “good fat” is in the form of Omega-3s – the kind of healthy fat in fish. If seafood isn’t your thing, give flaxseed a try!

Others may feel bloated when eating grains. This may be as a result of eating fiber too quickly. To avoid this, incorporate fiber into your diet gradually, and always drink plenty of water.

We challenge you to increase the grains in your life! Grains are an essential part of a balanced diet and contain fiber, protein, and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. Remember to consult your doctor prior to making dietary changes.

Did You Know?

  • The American Heart Association recommends at least six servings of grains (50% of which should be whole grains) daily.
  • One tablespoon of chia seeds gives you about 19% of your daily recommended fiber.
  • There are many gluten-free grains! Some include Amaranth, Corn, Millet, and Quinoa.
  • Grains can be included in any dish where you would normally use rice or oats.

Tips for Incorporating Grains in Your Diet

  1. Use Pearly Barley as a substitute for potatoes in beef or chicken stews.
  2. When settling down for your favorite movie, pop Amaranth, instead of popcorn.
  3. As an addition to your next meal, use Bulgar as a side instead of rice.
  4. Add Quinoa to your next salad for extra texture.

Check out additional information about whole grain benefits and uses

Sources: The American Heart Association, National Institutes of Health, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Woman’s Heart Foundation, WebMD, Everyday Health, LifeWork Strategies EAP, and Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For medical advice, consult your physician. Feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.