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ancient grains.

by caroline

Today’s post comes from Healthy Bitch Daily‘s Resident Dietitian, Ashley Koff, R.D. Listen up as Ashley tells you about three ancient, nutrient-packed grains (gluten-free too!) that can send today’s overly processed grains packing.

What’s your favorite ancient grain? Leave a comment or recipe idea in the comments section below!

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ancient grainsOur ancestors missed out.

When ancient folks – we’re talking prehistoric here – wanted to chow down on carbs, they didn’t have too many choices.

After a day running around in their loin cloths, they could cozy up to a bowl of whole grains like millet, amaranth and einkorn. And with the nutrient power of these ancient grains, it’s no wonder they created cool stuff like cave etchings of aliens, pyramids and weapons.

Blame it on the Grain

Fast forward to modern civilization and a world where rice-a-roni and corn flakes get chucked in the bottom of the food pyramid. No disrespect meant to  potatoes or corn, but let’s consider what life could be like today if we ditched the processed carbs for these ancient grains …

milletMillet. Before there was rice in China (yes, there really was a “before rice in China” time) a medley of grains called millet existed. Rich in magnesium, as well as other minerals and vitamins, eating millet instead of processed carbs provides a dose of Mother Nature’s anti-stress remedy (magnesium) while giving you carbohydrates for quick energy. What does magnesium do? Oh, you know, helps protect your heart, lowers blood pressure and reduces your risk for Type 2 diabetes – that important stuff. Millet we love: Arrowhead Organic Hulled Millet

Related: Problems With the Paleo Diet

ancient grainsEinkorn. While einkorn hails at least as far back as the Bronze Age, its nutrition profile gives it gold-metal status among the wheats (including spelt) of today. Why? Einkorn has not been hybridized (cross-bred) like other modern wheat. With high levels of protein, essential fatty acids, phosphorous and potassium, it’s more nutritious than other wheats, too. Swapping einkorn pasta in for your regular white or whole wheat means you’ll get more key nutrients such as lutein (einkorn has as much as an egg in a 2-ounce serving), higher antioxidants and trace minerals (key for supporting healthy blood sugar levels). Einkorn we love: Jovial Foods einkorn pastas and cookies

ancient grainsAmaranth. Though not a true grain, amaranth gave the Aztecs their mojo and it will likely do the same for you. Amino acids for strong muscles as well as hormonal health, dietary fiber and key bone, blood and immune-supporting minerals like iron, zinc and calcium make this ancient “grain” a modern must. What else? It’s gluten-free and high in protein. Win. Amaranth we love: Bob’s Red Mill Organic Amaranth

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ashley koffAshley Koff, R.D., Resident Dietitian
Named among the Top 10 Registered Dietitians in the U.S. by Today’s Dietitian Magazine, Koff appears regularly on national media outlets, including Dr. Oz, The Doctors, Good Morning America Health, CNN, AOL and E!. Koff is also the dietitian for espnW, and the featured dietitian on the CW’s “Shedding for the Wedding” and Lifetime’s “Love Handles.” Koff maintains a private practice, regularly lectures, and works to improve the quality of food choices on the sets of popular shows such as Private Practice, CSI: New York, Big Love, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and Bones. Her book, Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged (Hay House, 2011), hits stands later this summer. For more information please visit AshleyKoffRd.com.

Have a question for Ashley? Email at info@healthybitchdaily.com and get your questions answered.