10 Gluten-Free Grains That Are Super Healthy

Gluten-Free Grains

Gluten-free grains are a healthy and tasty substitute for people who are trying to avoid gluten. Discover the nutrient-dense qualities of amaranth, brown rice, and quinoa to open up new avenues for flavorful and healthful cooking. Accept a wide variety of options that meet your dietary requirements and turn every meal into a satisfying and enjoyable experience. Elevate your plate with the deliciousness of gluten-free grains and enjoy the satisfaction that comes from eating a well-balanced diet.

List of the Most Nutritious and Gluten-Free Grains

There are several grains that are naturally gluten-free and safe for consumption by individuals who need to adhere to a gluten-free diet. Some of these grains are:

1. Quinoa

Quinoa has rapidly gained popularity as one of the top choices for gluten-free grains. Its remarkable versatility and high content of fiber and plant-based protein make it an excellent dietary option.

It’s also among the healthiest grains because of its abundance of antioxidants, which may lower your chance of disease (1).

A single serving of cooked quinoa, equivalent to one cup (185 grams), contains 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. Additionally, it is abundant in essential micronutrients and effectively meets a significant portion of your daily magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus needs (2).

Quinoa is a wonderful ingredient for making casseroles and crusts without gluten. Quinoa flour has the versatility to create pancakes, tortillas, or quick bread as well.

2. Oats

Oats are a type of gluten-free cereal grain that is highly valued for its large amounts of beta-glucan, a soluble fiber. This fiber reduces the rate at which blood sugar enters the bloodstream and aids in promoting feelings of fullness.

Oats contain beta-glucan, which has been proven to effectively lower cholesterol levels and decrease the chances of developing coronary heart disease. Apart from being a great source of fiber, oats also provide a wide range of essential nutrients and minerals.

There are various variations of oats accessible, depending on their processing methods. Varieties comprise quick or instant oats, rolled or old-fashioned oats, steel-cut oats, oat groats, and oat bran. Additionally, there is oat flour that can be utilized in baking.

Oats are most commonly consumed hot in an oatmeal bowl, but they can also be added to pancakes, granola bars, or parfaits to boost their nutritional value and fiber content.

Related: 7 Health Benefits of Eating Oats and Oatmeal

3. Corn

One of the most widely used gluten-free cereal grains in the world is corn, sometimes known as maize.

Corn, a naturally gluten-free cereal grain, is highly regarded for its fiber-rich composition, abundance of vitamins, and the presence of valuable antioxidants like carotenoids. This versatile grain is consumed in numerous forms across a wide range of cultures.

Try making succotash or other side dishes with corn kernels, and make gluten-free cornbread or polenta with cornmeal. Cornstarch can be used to thicken soups and cobblers, and corn tortillas are great for tacos or quesadillas.

Corn can also be enjoyed as a tasty snack. Although popcorn is naturally gluten-free, some flavorings and additives used in popcorn at movie theaters or fairs might not be. Make your own popcorn at home, or always make sure the ingredients don’t contain gluten (3).

4. Sorghum

Sorghum is commonly grown for its dual purposes as a cereal grain and animal feed. Additionally, it serves as a source for producing sorghum syrup, a sweetener, and is utilized in the production of certain alcoholic beverages. This grain, which is free from gluten, possesses advantageous plant compounds that function as antioxidants, effectively diminishing oxidative stress and mitigating the likelihood of chronic disease (4).

Sorghum is also high in fiber, which helps to stabilize blood sugar levels by delaying the absorption of sugar.

Sorghum flour can be made with this mild-flavored grain to make gluten-free baked goods. It can also serve as a substitute for barley in dishes such as mushroom-barley soup.

5. Amaranth

Amaranth, a grain native to Peru, is a gluten-free and high-protein cereal. It has been cultivated for centuries and is a crucial component of breakfast porridge in various regions worldwide, such as India, Mexico, and Nepal.

You can toast amaranth to add nutty flavor to your cooking. It is a versatile grain that can be added to a variety of side dishes and salads. You can also use it in a hot breakfast with fruits and maple syrup.

6. Teff

The tiniest grain on Earth, teff, is native to Ethiopia (5). While it is relatively new in the United States, it is a staple in most of East Africa. Teff is a lot of protein, which can increase metabolism, decrease cravings, and encourage satiety.

It also provides you with a good amount of the daily fiber you require. Dietary fiber plays a significant role in weight loss, decreased appetite, and increased regularity.

Teff is frequently used to make injera, a type of sourdough flatbread. It can also be ground into flour. Make sure teff hasn’t been combined with gluten-containing flours like wheat or barley when ordering injera at a restaurant.

Additionally, teff can be added to risotto or porridge.

7. Brown rice

While brown and white rice are derived from the same grain, white rice is processed to remove the bran and germ.

Brown rice is therefore one of the healthiest gluten-free grains available because it has more fiber and a higher concentration of numerous micronutrients.

While both types of rice are gluten-free, research indicates that switching from white to brown rice has additional health advantages.

Actually, eating brown rice instead of white rice can lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and weight gain (678).

Brown rice is not only a delectable standalone side dish, but it can also be paired with vegetables and a lean protein source to craft a satisfying and nourishing meal.

8. Buckwheat

Buckwheat is a grain-like seed that is gluten-free and unrelated to wheat, despite its name. It has a wealth of antioxidants, particularly high concentrations of two particular kinds: quercetin and rutin (9).

Consuming buckwheat may also assist in lowering certain heart disease risk factors.

A study found that buckwheat consumption was linked to decreased levels of total and LDL (bad) cholesterol and increased levels of HDL (good) cholesterol relative to total cholesterol (10).

Try replacing traditional pasta with soba noodles, which are made from buckwheat and are gluten-free. Instead, buckwheat can be used to give soups, salads, and even veggie burgers a little crunch.

9. Millet

In the US, millet has only lately become more and more popular. Grain grown for hundreds of years in Africa and India is naturally gluten-free.

A 1-cup portion of cooked millet contains approximately 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein, demonstrating the nutritional density of millet.

You can substitute this nutty, sweet grain for rice and even grind it into flour for baking. It can also be turned into porridge or added to polenta instead of cornmeal (11).

10. Chia seed

A healthy whole grain that is free of gluten, chia seeds are high in antioxidants, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Chia seeds have a smooth, glossy texture and are small, flat, and oval in shape. They are white, brown, or black in color.

These seeds have a lot of uses. They can be soaked and mixed into pudding, added to porridge or baked goods, or just sprinkled over yogurt or salads.

They can also be used to replace eggs or thicken sauces because of their ability to absorb liquid and gel.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q1: Can gluten-free grains help with weight management?

A1: Yes, a lot of grains free of gluten, like quinoa, oats, and teff, are high in fiber and protein, which helps regulate weight and encourages feelings of fullness.

Q2: Can gluten-free grains be included in a child’s diet?

A2: Grain substitutes free of gluten provide vital nutrients and can be used in kid-friendly dishes such as rice bowls, quinoa salads, and gluten-free oat-based snacks. Make sure that the portion sizes are suitable for the age group.

Q3: How can I add gluten-free grains to my daily meals?

A3: Grain-free recipes can be made by substituting gluten-free grains for grains that contain gluten. As an alternative to couscous or traditional pasta, you could use brown rice or quinoa.

Q4: Do all grains have gluten?

A4: There are several gluten-free grains available that are suitable for individuals with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Some examples of these grains are quinoa, millet, and amaranth, among various others.

The bottom line

Make sure you’re eating a range of nutrient-rich foods in addition to these gluten-free whole grains to ensure that you’re getting a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients. It’s critical to select gluten-free products that have been certified gluten-free and to carefully read labels if you have non-celiac gluten sensitivity or celiac disease in order to prevent cross-contamination.

Leave a comment