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Wandering beyond wheat: 6 gluten-free grains for your culinary pleasure

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Those who go gluten free for reasons of allergies or other medical conditions likely know the score when it comes to grain alternatives, but for the gluten-free curious, names can be deceiving and the options a bit baffling.

Luckily, Michelle Schoffro Cook at Care2 has rounded up six gluten-free alternatives and their benefits for those who want to mix things up this summer or simply make their homes more welcoming for their gluten-intolerant kin.

Brown Rice

Unlike white rice, brown rice is high in fiber and vitamin E. Vitamin E is essential for healthy skin, immune function, and many other critical functions in your body. During the processing of brown rice into white, these nutrients are largely lost. Brown rice also contains high amounts of the minerals manganese, magnesium, and selenium. It also contains tryptophan, which helps with sleep. Selenium helps ward off cancer. Brown rice can easily replace white rice in almost any recipe: soups, stews, stir-fries, and even to make a dairy-free milk substitute.

Buckwheat

The name is a bit misleading. Buckwheat is not related to wheat and is both wheat- and gluten-free. It’s not even technically a grain but a seed that’s a relative of rhubarb. It is high in fiber, manganese, magnesium, tryptophan, and copper. Research shows that the regular consumption of buckwheat reduces the incidence of high blood pressure or high cholesterol. The combination of vitamin C and the flavonoid rutin give buckwheat its ability to prevent blood clumping and to keep blood moving smoothly through blood vessels. Canadian research in the Journal of Agriculture & Food Chemistry found that buckwheat may be helpful in the management of diabetes.

Millet

Similar in texture to couscous, millet is high in manganese, phosphorus, tryptophan, and magnesium. Phosphorus is a key component of ATP—your body’s energy currency. ATP helps ensure that your body has the energy it needs for every function. Tryptophan is the amino acid that helps your body make melatonin which in turn helps you sleep like a baby at night. Magnesium has been shown in studies to reduce the severity of headaches and asthma. And, according to new research published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, foods high in insoluble fiber like millet can help reduce the incidence of gallstones.

Full story at Care2.

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