The Ancient Grains come from seeds that have existed for millennia, from spelt, kamut and quinoa to freekah, farro and chia. Although new to most people, these ancient grains have been around for centuries and largely remain unchanged from ancient times.
Some of these grains are a staple in countries around the world, but many are now being touted as “super grains” for their numerous health benefits. Three up and coming Ancient Grains to add to your daily diet include: quinoa, freekah and farro.
Farro, also called “emmer” in the United States, was one of the first cereals to be domesticated. It was the standard daily meal for Roman soldiers. Often confused with spelt, farro is known for its nutty flavor and gratifying chew. The whole-grain variety of Farro offers the highest amount of nutrients and fiber, like vitamin B3 and zinc.
Freekah (“free-kah”) translated in Arabic means “to rub,” which refers to the process by which Freekah is made. Freekah is a type of bulgur wheat, made when young, green grains are picked then parched, roasted and rubbed off the grain. Since the grains are harvested when they are young, the maximum nutritional value is preserved, along with the best texture and flavor. Although this super grain has not yet made it to the USDA nutrient database, it is high in fiber and protein and low on the glycemic index.
Quinoa (“keen-wah”) continues to be in high demand for its nutritional powers. This ancient grain is full of minerals, protein, folate and healthy fats. Its ability to grow in harsh, dry climatic conditions raises its desirability. Quinoa is also one of the gluten free grains recommended for those following a strict gluten free diet.
Ancient Grains health benefits include reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, asthma, type II diabetes, colorectal cancer and inflammation of the carotid arteries. As part of your regular diet, ancient grains can also help with blood-pressure levels, gum disease and weight control.