Get in on the action: It’s Whole Grains Sampling Day!



Are you stuck in a whole grain rut? Is brown rice the extent of your whole grain eating? There’s no better time to be adventurous than today, Whole Grains Sampling Day.  This annual celebration,  brought to you by the Whole Grains Council, is geared towards bringing the tastes of an assortment of these nutrition-packed  foods to those who might be unfamiliar with them.

If you’re eating lunch out, choose an eatery with whole grains on the menu. Or cook some up for dinner tonight.

Have you tried teff, amaranth, quinoa or sorghum? What about kamut, buckwheat, farro, freekah or millet? I could go on and on. The list of possibilities seem to be growing in leaps and bounds as lesser known whole grains, no longer confined to ethnic or specialty food shops, make their way to even local supermarket shelves.  Consumers are clamoring for whole grains like never before.

The list of health perks linked to eating whole grains continues to grow.  The latest research, a review of 8 studies, showed those with the lowest intake of whole grains had a higher chance of developing pancreatic cancer. Besides being associated with easier weight management when compared to refined grains, whole grains are also connected to a lower risk of having a heart attack.  In Danish research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, of  more than 54,000 subjects, aged 50 to 64 years who were tracked for 13 years,  those who consumed the most whole grains  were  25 % less likely to have a heart attack compared to those who ate the least.

Other research points to health benefits later in life when fibre-rich whole grains are eaten at a younger age.  A study, just published in the journal Pediatrics, showed that dietary fibre consumed during adolescence and young adulthood may offer protection against breast cancer later in life. And there’s much more.  If you’re looking for anti-inflammatory foods, whole grains also fit the bill.

On the culinary front, chefs are loving the versatility of whole grains. To expand your horizons, when you see an unfamiliar grain on the menu, give it a try.  Why not aim for one new whole grain product each week?  The list of possibilities is endless – hot in a pilaf or vegetable-grain combo or cold as a salad such as tabbouleh (or my Citrus Quinoa Salad).  Use   leftover cooked grains to make a grain bowl for lunch by tossing it with herbs, vegetables, a protein choice and a dressing.

For information on whole grains or recipe inspiration, check out the Whole Grains Council website.

Join in on the Twitter party for even more inspiration. The details are below.


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Categories: Food Trends, Nutrition Month, Superfoods, Whole Foods

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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