Oats contain several components that have been proposed to exert health benefits. The primary type of soluble fiber in oats is beta-glucan, which has been researched to help slow digestion, increase satiety, and suppress appetite. Beta-glucan can bind with cholesterol-rich bile acids in the intestine and transport them through the digestive tract and eventually out of the body. Whole oats also contain plant chemicals called phenolic compounds and phytoestrogens that act as antioxidants to reduce the damaging effects of chronic inflammation that is associated with various diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Barley / Jau:
This grain has several health benefits especially for those who are following a detox. Including barley in your diet helps lower cholesterol, control diabetes, promotes weight loss, reduces LDL and lowers blood pressure. It is also a good source for dietary fibres and a rich source of zinc.
Millet / Ragi:
Ragi or nachni is a wholegrain that is a superfood for adults and babies. Ragi is a great ingredient for weight loss, it can improve diabetes, lower cholesterol, reduce the temperature of the body and improves anaemia. It also promotes bone health and lowers blood pressure. This protein source also slows down the ageing process.
Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) is a type of edible seed that comes in various colors including black, red, yellow, and white. The plant has been cultivated for about 5000 years and is indigenous to the Andean region of South America, specifically Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, and Peru. After the seeds are harvested they undergo processing to remove the natural saponins, a bitter-tasting chemical compound coating the exterior that acts as a natural pesticide.
A popular wholegrain in Northern India, rajgira or amaranth is rich in manganese, phosphorous, vitamin B6 and B2, magnesium, calcium, zinc, folate and potassium.
How to include them in your diet: Pop the grains and mix it with jaggery to prepare laddoos.
Once upon a time bajra was included as part of the daily diet, now nutritionists are pushing for the comeback of bajra. It is also gluten free. This grain has several health benefits lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, constipation, stomach ulcers, weight loss, heart diseases, acidity and uric acid.
Jowar / Sorghum:
Jowar is a rich source of iron and fibre. Sorghum or jowar is gluten free and rich in protein. Increase your phosphorous and thiamine levels with jowar. This grain also helps lower cholesterol, improves heart health, reduces neurodegenerative problems, improves immunity, constipation, diabetes and digestive problems.
Kuttu / Buckwheat:
Technically buckwheat is not a grain, but flour is prepared from the leaves and flowers. Buckwheat or kuttu is a good source of protein and starch, it is also a good ingredient for those who are following gluten free diet. Since this protein can be easily digested, it can improve digestion too. It is diabetes friendly and improves heart health.