A whole grain is a grain of any cereal that contains the endosperm, germ, and bran, in contrast to refined, white grains, which retain only the endosperm - in other words, the middle bit!
What's so great about whole grains? They contain much more fibre than their white counterparts (great for gut health), minerals & vitamins (great for everything!) and some contain protein too. They are digested slowly, keeping blood sugar stable and they keep you fuller for longer. Whole grains are also key to maintaining our levels of serotonin so that we feel good more often and we are not reaching for high fat or high sugar foods to give us 'hit'.
Here are a few different grains to consider:
Brown rice is higher in fibre, magnesium, and other nutrients, and unlike white rice, it's not artificially enriched with nutrients. My preferred type is brown short-grain for its texture and nutty taste.
Whole barley is hugely nutritious because it's a complete grain (unlike pearl barley which is refined). Boil for 45 minutes. It has a lovely chewy texture and nutty flavour. Worth noting that barley contains gluten.
Spelt pasta is a tastier and more robust alternative to white pasta. It's high in protein, fibre and magnesium. It's also a good source of niacin and thiamin which are the B vitamins that the body uses to convert food into energy
Quinoa (strictly a seed but...) is a complete plant protein and comes in little pearls of white, red or black. It is full of fibre, protein, B vitamins and iron.
Millet, like oats and quinoa, is gluten free and another nutritional winner. It contains high levels of phosphorous for our bones and magnesium which is excellent for heart health.
Buckwheat contains more fibre, potassium, vitamins and less saturated fat than oats.
Bulgarwheat provides various nutrients and is an especially good source of manganese, magnesium, iron and fibre.
Eat whole grains as you would white rice, or white pasta, on the side. You can also add pot barley to stews and soups. I have some delicious whole grain breakfast ideas in my new book HERE
MORE How to and why? articles HERE