By Zach

Contrary to popular assumption, gluten-free doesn’t have to mean grain-free. Granted, there are many grains out there such as spelt that are harsh to celiacs’ digestive track and for people with gluten sensitivity in general. Be that as it may, celiacs and gluten-sensitive people can still enjoy the hearty textures of grains and quench their carb-cravings with these six basic grains (although some are technically seeds) that are gluten-free. Hopefully you can learn something new about them and implement some of them into your culinary circle!

Quinoa (goes great with tilapia, sweet potatoes and greens)

Quinoa has been around for centuries as the Incas regarded it as sacred. It’s one of my favorite grains, although I recently just learned that it is technically an herb-derived seed. Nonetheless, it is unique among other grains as it serves as a complete protein with all nine amino acids and a good source of fiber, iron, minerals (such as magnesium) and B-complex vitamins. The health benefits of quinoa contain lessening the risk of heart disease and helping secure your cells against destructive free radicals via the building block superoxide dismutase.

Brown Rice (goes great with soups, Mexican and fish)

Although white rice is technically gluten-free, the fact that it is processed in a facility circulating with gluten means it has a high likelihood of being cross-contaminated. Brown rice, on the other hand, is not processed, which makes it a great gluten-free alternative for a grain-based meal, not to mention when you eat it you can procure the wholesome benefits of fiber, manganese, magnesium, vitamin E and selenium. Vitamin E can help promote healthy skin, strengthening your immune system and other bodily essentials. Unfortunately, a lot of these nutrients are removed in the refining process of white rice.

Wild Rice (goes great with soups, salmon, and preferred meats)

Rice strikes again! This time it is wild rice, which is low in calories, high in protein and embodies a nuttier taste that give it an original take on grains (technically another seed!). One thing you need to watch out for with wild rice is the blends with white rice as they cannot be trusted. Aside from that, wild rice is a great substitute for gluten-free meals of all kind.

Gluten-Free Oats (great for homemade oatmeal and granola bars)

Disclaimer: this grain is probably not suitable for gluten-intolerant eater, but rather consumers with mild sensitivity or who are just trying to cut out as much gluten as possible from their diet. When it comes to refined ingredients, less is better, which include steel-cut, bran, flakes and rolled. Gluten-free oats provide substantial protein, fiber and minerals.

Buckwheat (goes great in pancakes, crepes, and kasha)

Next we have buckwheat. Once you get passed the terribly off-putting name it has for a gluten-free food, I think you’ll find that it’s a reliable resource. Once again, like the above options, it’s high in fiber, magnesium and manganese plus fortified with copper and tryptophan. All of these nutrients in buckwheat allow it to lower the chances of high blood pressure or cholesterol. Interestingly enough, Canada’s Journal of Agriculture & Food Chemistry proposed research that suggested buckwheat might also be able to help manage diabetes.

Millet (goes great with salads, pilaf, and potatoes)

Finally, we have millet – a neighboring dynamic to couscous. It’s not the most exciting grain on the menu, but it certainly has its moments to shine in certain culinary circles. Millet has similar nutritional properties to the rest of the gluten-free grain gang such as manganese and magnesium, plus the additional source of phosphorus. As published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, foods rich with insoluble fiber – which applies to millet – have the potential to decrease the chances of gallstones. Gallstones are like kidney stones, only they are located in your gallbladder.