Although nutritional claims have varied over the years, one principle remains true: whole foods are your best defense against artificial ingredients. When you take a zucchini, an apple, or whole grain quinoa, and you prepare it yourself, you know that your food is free of processes that might have removed precious nutrients. You control what you add to your whole foods, and you can choose to consume them as close to their natural state as possible.
What Is a Whole Grain?
A whole grain is a seed that contains the entire kernel, including the bran, endosperm, and germ. Whole grains are naturally high in protein, fiber, and many other vitamins and minerals.
Whole grain flours are ground from whole seeds. Refined flours have the bran and some of the germ removed, robbing these flours of nutrients that can only be found in a whole grain.
Some refined flours are enriched to add nutrients back into the mix, as when bran is added to increase the amount of fiber, but that is not the same as a whole food, and mixing things back together does not create a whole grain.
Whole Grains Matter
We have known for many years that people benefit from diets rich in whole grains. Studies have shown that whole grain fiber promotes digestive health and lowers the risk of diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, and even some cancers. The US Dietary Guidelines recommend adults eat at least three servings of whole grains per day.
In addition, research in the last decade indicates that whole grains contain antioxidants every bit as important to our health as the antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. Some of these whole grain antioxidants are unique, and we cannot find them elsewhere.
But Quinoa Isn’t A Grain, Is It?
You may have heard that quinoa is not a grain. This is true, but quinoa is still a whole grain. The word grain is a botanical term for a family of plants also known as the grasses. Wheat, rice, and corn are all grasses. Quinoa is not a grass, and therefore we do not call it a grain.
However, the word grain can also refer to a small, hard object, a granule. We see this meaning when we speak of grains of sand and when we take something with a grain of salt. In that sense, and with the meaning above, quinoa is indeed a whole grain.
O.A. Whole Grain Quinoa
Here at O.A. Foods, we rinse and lightly process our quinoa to remove a layer of saponin, a natural pest repellent. However, this process leaves the bran and germ intact. You can see this in the ring that separates from the seed when our quinoa cooks. That ring is your proof that you are eating a whole grain.
With a pot of whole grain quinoa bubbling on the stove, you are only fifteen minutes away from a hearty side dish everyone will love. From our family to yours, O.A. Quinoa is a whole food that makes it easy and tasty for you to eat three servings of whole grains per day.