If you are health conscious and read labels on food packets, you must have frequently come across the word “gluten free” on certain food labels. So, what exactly is “gluten” and how does it impact health and the weight loss picture. Though gluten affects people with celiac disease in an adverse way, most health conscious people do avoid gluten like a plague. Now, let’s get into more details about gluten and try to find out 10 best gluten free grains that can make you healthier.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a group of proteins, comprising of glutenin and gliadin, which is commonly found in wheat. Gluten gives the flour its sticky and glue-like texture when mixed with water. In India, wheat is the commonly-consumed gluten-rich food; however, people with certain medical conditions and autoimmune disorders such as celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome are allergic to gluten where their immune system triggers a reaction against the presence of gluten in the body and damages gluten as well as the lining of the gut wall, which may further lead to reactions such as diarrhea, anemia, headache, rashes, and even depression. People with gluten intolerance and wheat sensitivity should totally avoid wheat and cereals that have this set of protein in them.
How are Gluten and Weight Loss Linked?
Certain reports have revealed that people who have gone on a gluten-free diet have vouched for increased energy, digestion and drop in weight, but there are no concrete studies linking gluten with weight loss or gain. The weight loss aspect can be attributed to switching to low-calorie foods with no gluten in them.
Food Items Rich in Gluten:
- Malt extract.
- Soy sauce
- Soba noodles
- Teriyaki sauce
10 Best Gluten-Free Grains that can Make You Healthier:
1. Buckwheat: Buckwheat is a rich source of fiber, iron, magnesium, and protein. It helps lower cholesterol levels and stabilizes blood sugar levels.
2. Amaranth – It’s a gluten-free grain that is rich in protein, calcium, antioxidants and minerals. It’s an easy-to-digest grain that also keeps your appetite in check.
3. Brown rice: Brown rice is a healthy substitute to white rice and the good new is that it is rich in fiber and helps maintain weight with its low glycemic index. Brown rice also helps with cholesterol level and is good for heart too.
4. Finger millet: A rich source of antioxidants, protein, calcium, this grain is absolutely great to lower risk of coronary artery disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
5. Rolled oats: Rolled oats are different than normal oats in the way that they are steamed and flattened out. Rolled oats is good for everyone including for people who are trying to shed some weight, want to manage sugar levels, and lower risk of heart disease. Rolled oats is rich in nutrients and antioxidants and there is no reason not to include it into your diet.
6. Quinoa: Quinoa is the most preferred grain among people on a strict diet and trying to lose weight. It is rich in vitamin B, E, protein, fiber, as well as minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, and selenium. It also has antioxidants and boosts metabolism, also has low glycemic index.
7. Sorghum/Jowar: Jowar helps prevent diabetes and cancer. It also improve immunity. It has vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as well. It releases carbhohydrates slowly during digestion and does not cause sharp spike in insulin levels.
8. Flaxseed: It’s a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, B vitamins, iron, potassium, and minerals. It is great for the digestive system and lowers cholesterol level. It also boosts metabolism and helps manage weight.
9. Chia – Chia seed pudding is a favorite of most people on a diet. It is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, fibre. It has 3 times more iron than spinach, 5 times more calcium than milk, and 64% more potassium than a banana. Chia seeds are great for the skin, metabolism, and it can curb appetite to a good extent.
10. Arrowroot: Although arrowroot is not a grain, we decided to include it in this post because it is great for people who are looking for gluten-free options. Arrowroot is great for diabetics and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is rich in calcium and carbohydrates and aids weight loss.
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