Ancient Grains Dominating Modern Diets
As more people chose to revert back to a diet rich in natural, unadulterated ingredients, many are rediscovering the taste, versatility, and health benefits of ancient grains.
The Whole Grains Council deﬁnes these products as grains that have remained largely unchanged over the last several hundred years. But the term is also used to include various forms of wheat and pseudo-cereals, which are seeds that are consumed like grains.
Name that grain
The most popular and common ancient grains sold today include varieties of wheat like spelt and bulgur, grains like millet, barley, oats, and sorghum, and pseudo-cereals like quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, and chia.
Many people also consider heirloom varieties of other common grains, such as black barley, red and black rice, blue corn to be ancient grains.
While many ancient grains have remained dietary staples in various parts of the developing world throughout human history, including China, India, Africa and the Middle East, their growing popularity in Westernised cultures has been more recent.
That’s because these whole-grain products, which are widely available at Dis-Chem stores nationwide and online, are generally more nutritious than reﬁned grain, corn, and wheat products, offering beneficial amounts of vitamins, minerals and even plant protein.
They are also great sources of soluble and insoluble fibre, with one cup of uncooked millet providing as much fiber as 4 cups of white rice, for example.
Many also offer naturally gluten-free alternatives to other wheat and grains, which has made them popular among those with food sensitivities, allergies and intolerances. And true ancient grains are also non-G.M.O.
In addition, various studies have linked ancient grain consumption to health benefits such as improved digestion.