Did you know that in general pigmented grains such as red quinoa or black rice, contain more phytochemicals and antioxidants than their beige counterparts? Not only do these colourful plant pigments possibly have a range of benefits for health (clinical studies not yet available), they add variety to our diet
Here’s a fun fact: red rice is coloured red by anthocyanins. These are the same plant compounds that give blueberries their colour and what make red cabbage red.
What about beige whole grains?
However, there are many “beige” whole grains with fantastic health benefits such as millet, pot barley, teff and spelt. Read the label of products if you’re not sure if they are whole grain. Some darker coloured breads are not actually whole grain – they are coloured with molasses or caramel colour to make them look like they are by manufacturers.
What are the benefits of intact whole grains?
The processing method for whole grains determines their final nutritional value. In “intact whole grains”, 100% of the original kernel, which includes the bran, germ, and endosperm must be intact. Some minimally processed grains such as cracked wheat (called dalia in India) still have the bran and germ layers partially intact.
I eat a variety of intact whole grains and try to rotate them as each one has different benefits. Did you know that amaranth is particularly high in calcium? Intact whole grains contain significantly more fibre, protein and micronutrients than refined varieties – win!
Are they affordable?
Despite being called “the poor man’s food” for many years, brown or coloured rice can be quite a bit more expensive than white rice depending on where you live. White rice has a very long shelf-life and can be edible after many years. Try other whole grains and support local, ethical grain producers. Hodmedod’s is a good one in the UK.