While ancient grains have in fact been around for centuries, they are very new to many a modern man. The reason for this is that over the years convenience has become king; wholegrains have become refined, faster-growing higher yielding wheats have generally taken over. Products can now stay ‘fresh’ with the use of preservatives, and ready-to-eat meals have become a norm. The good news however is that good old ancient grains are making a comeback and we’re hoping they’re here to stay.
WHAT EXACTLY ARE ANCIENT GRAINS?
For many years archaeologists have reported finding the remains of grains and grain stores in ancient sites- the remains of charred wheat and millet were found in Yunnan, China, that are thought to be nearly 4,000 years old! However, the term ancient grain doesn’t only mean a 4,000 year old grain seed; it refers to the long forgotten types of grains that have only recently been rediscovered by the West. Although these heritage grains have been grown by different communities all over the world, their accessibility and availability to other more urban destinations have been largely limited up until now. These grains however are rapidly becoming more popular and mainstream… and for good reason1.
WHY YOU SHOULD BE GOING WITH THE GRAIN
Ancient grains are often described as ‘super grains’, as they are naturally incredibly nutritious and offer us much in the way of positive health benefits. Although each grain has its own individual set of health benefits, these grains generally are higher in fibre and protein than most modern day grains and have enhanced flavour. Most ancient grains also have a delicious chewy texture, are grown in an eco-friendly way (better for the soil and environment), and many provide useful grain alternatives for those searching for gluten-free and/or wheat-free items2.
Let’s take a general look at the nutrients that can be found in the “ancient grain” family
We all know that the amino acids we get from protein make up crucial parts of the human body. Not only are proteins essential for human survival, they also play a huge role in the immune system.
Most people are unaware that ancient grains are a great source of protein. The top contenders in protein content are Wild rice, Kamut and Spelt.
Fibre is the next big nutrient. All grains are a source of different fibres and it’s always a good idea to mix and match your grain intake. The grains Bulgari, Treacle and Rye have the higher fibre content in a comparison to other ancient grains. A multi grain intake is the best way to get a good combination of soluble and insoluble fibre. FUTURELIFE® High Protein Ancient Grain Brown Bread is a good multigrain addition because it contains the ancient grains: Crushed Rye, Groats, Red Sorghum, White Quinoa, and Millet.
Vitamin and Minerals
Ancient grains contain a magnitude of vitamins and minerals including iron, manganese, zinc, calcium, the B-vitamins, the list goes on. In case you looking to get in a specific nutrient these grains are the best sources:
Oats and Teff contain the highest amounts of manganese. They contain more than the daily requirement of the nutrient
Selenium is a mineral that is needed in small amounts. Red and white wheat and Kamut are your best source of this little but important nutrient
Folic acid is B-vitamin that is important for developing cells in the nervous system. Quinoa is a very good source of folic acid4.
FUTURELIFE® AND ANCIENT GRAINS:
Ancient grains have been around for millennium, but the way we consume them has changed. FUTURELIFE® gives you a collection of great tasting ancient grains in our FUTURELIFE® High Protein Ancient Grain Brown Bread
FUTURELIFE® High Protein Ancient Grain Brown Bread is Low GI, High Fibre, nutrient-dense goodness from a carefully selected blend of 3 ancient grains (red sorghum, white quinoa and crushed rye), 2 seeds and rolled oats all in a delicious, High Protein, NON-GMO and vegan-friendly brown bread.
It is clear that grains can offer us a lot nutritionally and you need to have a variety to make sure get the best from all of them. Each grain is unique in its own special way, so start to include ancient grains in your diet today!