Today former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was reported saying people should go meat-free one or two days a week to protect the climate, meat eating was an environmental problem, with farming creating an estimated 28% of global greenhouse gases, ask people to go totally vegetarian would be too demanding but giving up meat once or twice a week should be achievable. He said that you can get protein in different ways and has known body builders and weight lifters that have a vegetarian lifestyle.
Well you could do worse than to include some grains a couple of times a weeks as part of your diet, they offer a wealth of health benefits, plus they’re filling and a good source of fibre. Quinoa for instance a grain-like seed, has a higher protein content than most other grains, and contains all the essential amino acids you need making it equivalent to milk or soya. It is also high in fibre and a good source of iron and calcium. This ancient food, heralded by the Incas is also gluten free.
Other grains to include are wild rice which is richer in protein than brown rice and contains more of the immune-friendly mineral zinc. Farro and spelt are both ancient forms of wheat and make good vegetarian choices because they supply more protein as well as fibre than the modern wheat varieties.
Amaranth has been cultivated for over 8,000 years and was a staple in the diet of the Aztec civilisation, it contains a high level of lysine, an amino acid that is lacking in wheat, and it is therefore seen as a popular complementary protein to common grains, helping vegetarians and vegans receive all essential amino acids. Research shows that amaranth may benefit cardiovascular health, and some studies indicate its high amount of antioxidants.
Buckwheat doesn’t contain gluten and is safe for individuals with celiac disease. It contains all essential amino acids and can be used as a substitute for rice, oats, and flour if ground into a fine powder. It’s high in fibre and contains a lot of bioavailable antioxidants. It contains rutin, a compound that protects against the effects of high cholesterol and is rich in magnesium, which relaxes blood vessels and helps keep blood flowing.
Millet has been a dietary staple for thousands of years and is considered a quality alternative grain that rivals wheat, rice, and oats. It has a low impact on blood sugar compared with other grains, and some research has shown that the grain may be helpful for supporting ocular health.
The grain kamut with kernels that are twice the size of common wheat and the grain supplies more protein which means it keeps you fuller for longer.
Rye is a very good source of manganese and a good source of dietary fibre, which can help reduce or control weight by making you feel fuller for longer periods, thereby curbing the urge to overeat at meals and snack between meals. Rye is packed full of essential vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. It is very rich in manganese, with one serving having 72 percent of the recommended daily value. It is also rich in phosphorous, copper, pantothenic acid (B5), and magnesium. It’s powerful antioxidants can help to prevent cancer and other diseases. Additionally, it contains plant lignans, which are phytonutrients that protect against breast cancer and heart disease.
As you can see grains can provide you with many health benefits as well as being delicious, give it a try.