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Go against the grain

health-and-fitness Updated: Jun 11, 2011 18:19 IST
Tavishi Paitandy Rastogi
Tavishi Paitandy Rastogi
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Putting on a lot of weight? What’s the first thing that you drop from your diet? Rice, of course. So chapatis it is – day after day, month after month. Till you start getting a bloated feeling, only to realise that perhaps you are becoming wheat intolerant.

This, say experts is an increasing phenomenon. Nutritionist Ishi Khosla, who has written Is Wheat Killing You?, says: “From being dependent on only one kind of cereal to the kind of wheat available, developing wheat intolerance is common now.” So what are the alternatives?

RiceBrown Rice: Excellent source of magnesium, iron, selenium, manganese and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6. Also a good source of dietary fibre and protein. While you can eat it as rice, it works as flour too.

Corn / Maize: A great way to check diabetes and also good for preventing heart ailments, hypertension etc. Corn or maize not only provides the necessary calories for daily metabolism, but is a rich source of vitamins A, B, E and many minerals.

Quinoa: This South American grain is gluten-free and very high in protein. It’s also high in iron and calcium, and is a good source of manganese, magnesium and copper, as well as fibre.

Oats: Oats are very popular as a breakfast item because of their high nutritional value. Oats are rich in protein, calcium, fibre and vitamin E, and are an excellent dietary supplement as well.

Barley: This wholegrain food is high in soluble fibre and can reduce blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Barley is also low in fat. It is used as a thickener for soups and stews, and also in baked goods. Cooked pearl barley added to a salad provides extra fibre.

Millets: These incorporate three main elements:

Jowar
: Contains nutrients like vitamins B and E, magnesium, fibre and iron, along with antioxidants. It prevents cardiovascular disease and reduces cholesterol. Jowar is also good for weight loss since it has
fibre that delays hunger.

Bajra: Pearl millet or bajra is nutritious and a gluten-free grain. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, starch, amino acids, protein and fibre. It’s recommended for those suffering from constipation and ulcers.

Ragi: Is one of the most nutritious millets and easy to digest. It is rich in calcium, fibre, protein, iron, etc. This low-fat cereal contributes towards bone health, and helps to fight anxiety, insomnia and depression.