Sure, you’ve heard about the health benefits of whole grains, and you may have added healthy foods like quinoa to your diet. But do you know about the super grains teff, millet, and kamut? How about buckwheat, not technically a grain or wheat, but a cousin to rhubarb that has a similar nutritional profile to super grains?
Last week on the Dr. Oz Show, Nutritionist Heidi Skolnik shared that these four super grains are eaten all over the world, while in the U.S. we’re overly focused on wheat. Each of these super grains has its own nutritional benefits, and several are gluten-free!
Teff is the smallest grain in the world, so small that it can’t be refined or otherwise processed! It has a mild sweetness similar to flaxseed, and it’s full of calcium. Cook whole grain teff as a hot breakfast cereal by simmering 1 cup of teff with 2 cups of water, until the liquid is absorbed. You can also substitute teff flour for around 1/4 of the all-purpose flour called for in your favorite recipes. Teff is gluten-free.
Kamut is considered the “high energy grain” because it contains 40% more protein than the national average for wheat. Skolnik writes:
A half-cup of cooked kamut has more protein than an egg! It also has B vitamins and contains omega-3s, which may help the body fight inflammation. It is also higher in vitamin E than common forms of wheat, which helps keep the immune system strong.
Kamut is a long grain that’s best cooked in a rice cooker or slow cooker, for up to one hour. As a member of the wheat family, kamut is not gluten-free.
According to Skolnik:
Millet provides magnesium and B vitamins, two nutrients that have been shown to help reduce muscle/nerve pain like migraine headaches, muscle tension and cramps. Millet is being rediscovered for its possible role in helping control diabetes and inflammation in the body.
You can use millet in a variety of ways. To cook it like rice, heat 2 parts millet to 5 parts water and boil for 30-35 minutes. You can fluff it and eat it as a hot cereal, mash it as a savory side, or grind it into flour to use for baking. Millet is gluten-free.
Oprah calls buckwheat a superfood! It’s high in potassium and phosphorous and contains 50% more vitamin B than wheat. Believe it or not, buckwheat has the highest source of biological protein in the plant kingdom! It improves circulation and may lower “bad” cholesterol. To cook buckwheat, combine 1 cup Whole Buckwheat Groats with 2 cups water in large sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook 10 to 12 minutes, then let stand 5 minutes. Buckwheat is gluten-free.
Learn more about the super grains that Dr. Oz recommends, and try incorporating them into your diet!