Breaking it Down Grain by Grain

What the heck is gluten anyway?
Well, gluten is a combination of two proteins that are found in some grains. The good news is that there are more grains that do not contain gluten than those that do.
People who are intolerant of gluten may have symptoms ranging from discomfort after they eat to skin problems, impaired mental function or more serious digestive disorders. If you’re getting tired of corn and rice, or just want to try something new, check out this quick guide to grains.

Gluten containing grains are:
– Wheat
– Spelt
– Kamut
– Rye
– Barley
– Oats* (can be contaminated while growing near other grains. Look for gluten free oats which are grown in dedicated fields)

Non-gluten grains are:
– Rice
– Corn
– Millet (native to Africa, mild corn-like flavor, nutrient dense)
– Teff (native to Africa, mild nutty flavor, high protein, makes a delicious porridge)
– Quinoa (Native to South America, can be bitter, high in protein)
– Buckwheat (strong “whole wheat” flavor, high in phyto nutrients)
– Sorghum (light sweet taste)
– Amaranth (Strong nutty, slightly bitter flavor)
– Oats

Other “flours” or starches that do not contain gluten:
– Tapioca flour or starch (same product, comes from the root of the cassava plant)
– Potato flour or starch (not the same product)
– Coconut flour
– Arrowroot powder (starch from the tropical south american maranta arundinacea plant)
– nuts, beans, seeds

Whole Grains Council is a great website where you can learn about the nutritional profiles of these grains. Remember though, if they are not sprouted or at least soaked to neutralize the phytic acid, you will not actually absorb all the nutrients they contain. The starches do not need such treatment, but also do not contain the health benefits of whole grains. Nuts, beans and seeds do need to be soaked like grains to receive the best nutrition. With a little experimentation you can eat gluten-free and still
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I would love to hear your feedback or comments below!

Disclaimer: For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.