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Gluten-Free and Ancient Grains: What’s the deal?

May 30, 2014



By Christine Dailey

Gluten-free and ancient grains are the most popular diet trends in 2014, and nutritionists aren’t expecting the buzz to die down. But, do you really understand what ancient grains are? Or what it means to be gluten-free?

 

The gluten-free diet began as a treatment for people with celiac disease because they cannot properly digest foods that contain gluten, resulting in digestive problems, skin rashes, low-blood count and musculoskeletal problems. Gluten is a protein complex that’s found in wheat, barley and rye. However, some grains don’t contain the harmful protein complex, such as quinoa, buckwheat and rice.

According to Ingredion, 1.8 million Americans have celiac disease and sensitivity to gluten, and 29% of American adults want to cut down or avoid gluten entirely. However, the gluten-free trend is becoming very popular among those who don’t have a celiac disease because it can help with anti-inflammatory issues and provide other health benefits, such as higher energy levels and a healthy digestive system.

But, what grains are good for you? That’s where ancient grains come in. They’re high in fiber, rich in minerals and help prevent cancer, heart disease and high-blood pressure. With most ancient grains being free of gluten, these nutrition-packed grains are rapidly rising in popularity. Most of these grains are high in protein, calcium, iron and fiber, making them a perfect healthy option for breakfast, in baked goods and as snacks.

With cereal being the most popular morning kick-starter, this is the ideal time to make sure you’re getting your ancient grains instead of the traditional empty carbs and sugar. Many cereals and granola options are either bland or loaded with sugar and calories. Boost your morning by eating granola, porridge, muffins or pancakes made with ancient grains, such as amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, teff, flax seed, millet or sorghum. The plus side? All those ancient grains are also gluten-free!

To learn more about ancient grains and eating gluten-free, check out Cocomama foods. These delicious quinoa cereals come in various flavors and are quick if you’re on the go. Invest in your health by investing in them at Kickstarter.com.