Top 9 Gluten Free Super-Food Grain Options

By Dr. Axe.

Gluten-free has become so popular on shelves today that practically every company out there touts a gluten-free product in one shape or form. While gluten-free does not mean healthy, often buzzwords like this are used to really push products, and that brings us to why it’s so important to really know if those “gluten-free grains” you’re buying are actually sans gluten and a healthy option otherwise.

What is gluten? According to the Whole Grains Council, gluten is a protein found in wheat — such as spelt, kamut, einkorn, farro/emmer, barley, rye and triticale — that’s hard for some people to digest. It helps bind and shape foods by creating elasticity. About 1 percent to 2 percent of the population has celiac disease, which is an autoimmune form of gluten intolerance. These folks have quite a struggle and must eat a gluten-free diet for life. There are others who don’t have celiac disease but could have allergies relating to the consumption of wheat. Experts tell us that about 1 percent to 6 percent of the population falls into this category. (12)


Thus, if you have some sort of intolerance to gluten, it’s best to replace any whole wheat with gluten-free grains and follow at least a modified celiac disease diet. What are the best gluten-free grains out there, and how do they compare to the more common gluten-containing grains we were raised on? Let’s find out, along with ways to incorporate gluten-free grains and the benefits of a gluten-free diet.


Top 9 Gluten-Free Grains

There are more gluten-free grains than you probably would have guessed. Here are the top nine gluten-free grains I recommend, which also work as gluten-free flours. Most of these are fairly easy to find at your local grocer, and they’re versatile and diverse enough to replace wheat in just about any recipe. (3)

  1. Amaranth: Amaranth offers digestive benefits and helps build healthy bones. It’s a great source of protein, fiber, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
  2. Brown Rice: Can promote a healthy heart, provide manganese and decrease cholesterol.
  3. Buckwheat: Buckwheat is a nutrient-dense seed filled with antioxidants.
  4. Corn Grits (Polenta): Corn-based grains, like polenta, can be a great gluten-free source, but there is one key thing to consider: Is it non-GMO? Look for non-GMO versions and you will likely fare well due to the antioxidants and fiber they contain.
  5. Millet: Millet is also a seed often referred to as a grain. Yes, birds love this little seed, and you, too, may want to give it a shot. Its fiber content and low glycemic index help keep the body regulated while maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
  6. Oats: Oats always seem to be in question as to whether they make the gluten-free list. So are oats gluten-free? The short version is, yes, oats are gluten-free, but they can be grown in the same fields as wheat products. That may be where a gluten sensitivity lies with oats, as the gluten remnants can find their way into oats. Purchase brands that label them as gluten-free. If needed, call the company to ask about how they’re produced.
  7. Quinoa: Quinoa has been very popular over the years due to its gluten-free status. Additionally, it contains protein, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
  8. SorghumSorghum is typically found as a flour and does well with nutrient density, offering protein, iron, B vitamins and dietary fiber. It also contains inflammation-reducing antioxidants.
  9. Teff: You may not have heard of teff, but this gluten-free grain aids in circulation as well as weight loss.

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