By Rachael Link, MS, RD
Although gluten is not a problem for most people, some may not tolerate it well.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that triggers an immune response to gluten. For those with this disease or a gluten sensitivity, eating gluten can cause symptoms like bloating, diarrhea and stomach pain (3).
Many of the most commonly consumed grains contain gluten. However, there are plenty of nutritious gluten-free grains available, too.
This article will list nine gluten-free grains that are super healthy.
Sorghum is typically cultivated as both a cereal grain and animal feed. It is also used to produce sorghum syrup, a type of sweetener, as well as some alcoholic beverages.
This gluten-free grain contains beneficial plant compounds that act as antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress and lower the risk of chronic disease (4).
A 2010 test-tube and animal study found that sorghum possesses significant anti-inflammatory properties due to its high content of these plant compounds (5).
Additionally, sorghum is rich in fiber and can help slow the absorption of sugar to keep blood sugar levels steady.
One study compared blood sugar and insulin levels in 10 participants after eating a muffin made with either sorghum or whole-wheat flour. The sorghum muffin led to a greater reduction in both blood sugar and insulin than the whole-wheat muffin (6).
One cup (192 grams) of sorghum contains 12 grams of fiber, 22 grams of protein and almost half of the iron you need in a day (7).
Sorghum has a mild flavor and can be ground into flour for baking gluten-free goods. It can also substitute for barley in recipes like mushroom-barley soup.
Summary: Several studies have shown that sorghum is high in plant compounds and may help reduce both inflammation and blood sugar.
Quinoa has quickly become one of the most popular gluten-free grains. It is incredibly versatile plus rich in fiber and plant-based protein.
Additionally, quinoa is high in protein and is one of the few plant foods considered a complete protein.
While most plant foods are lacking in one or two of the essential amino acids required by your body, quinoa contains all eight. This makes it an excellent plant-based source of protein (9).
One cup (185 grams) of cooked quinoa provides 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. It's packed with micronutrients as well and fulfills much of your daily magnesium, manganese and phosphorus requirements (10).
Quinoa is the perfect ingredient to make gluten-free crusts and casseroles. Quinoa flour can also be used to make pancakes, tortillas or quick bread.
Summary: Quinoa contains a good amount of antioxidants. It's also one of the few plant foods containing all the essential amino acids.
Though most well-known as the staple ingredient in bird seed, millet is a very nutritious ancient grain that may provide many health benefits.
One animal study found that feeding millet to rats decreased both blood triglycerides and inflammation (11).
Another study looked at the effects of millet on blood sugar levels in six diabetic patients. It found that millet resulted in a lower glycemic response and lower blood sugar levels compared to rice and wheat (12).
One cup (174 grams) of cooked millet contains 2 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein plus 19 percent of your daily need for magnesium (13).
You can incorporate millet into your breakfast with a hot bowl of millet porridge. Additionally, you can use millet or millet flour to cook falafel, bread or croquettes.
Summary: Animal and human studies have found that millet may decrease blood triglycerides, inflammation and blood sugar.
Oats are very healthy. They also stand out as one of the best sources of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber with advantages for health.
A review of 28 studies found that beta-glucan effectively decreased both "bad" LDL and total cholesterol without affecting "good" HDL cholesterol (14).
1/4 cup (39 grams) of dry oats provides 4 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein. It also provides phosphorus, magnesium and B vitamins, as well (17).
Although oats are naturally gluten-free, many brands of oats contain gluten due to contamination from how they are grown and processed.
If you have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, be sure to look for oats labeled as certified gluten-free.
A hot bowl of oatmeal is the most popular way to enjoy oats, but you can also add oats to pancakes, granola bars or parfaits for extra fiber and nutrients.
Summary: Oats contain beta-glucan, which may decrease blood cholesterol and help regulate blood sugar levels.
Despite its name, buckwheat is a grain-like seed that is gluten-free and has no relation to wheat.
It provides plenty of antioxidants, including high amounts of two specific types: rutin and quercetin (18).
Eating buckwheat may also help reduce some risk factors for heart disease.
In one study, buckwheat intake was associated with lower total and "bad" LDL cholesterol plus a higher ratio of "good" HDL to total cholesterol (21).
Another study had similar findings, showing that those who ate buckwheat had a lower risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar (22).
One cup (170 grams) of buckwheat delivers 17 grams of fiber, 23 grams of protein and more than 90 percent of the magnesium, copper and manganese you need for the entire day (23).
Try soba noodles made from buckwheat as a gluten-free swap for traditional pasta. Or, use buckwheat to add a bit of crunch to soups, salads or even veggie burgers.
Summary: Buckwheat is rich in antioxidants and has been associated with reductions in heart disease risk factors, such as blood cholesterol levels.
Amaranth has a rich history as one of the staple foods for the Inca, Maya and Aztec civilizations. Moreover, it is a highly nutritious grain with some impressive health benefits (24).
A 2014 study found that the compounds in amaranth were effective in blocking inflammation in both humans and mice by preventing the activation of a pathway that triggers inflammation (25).
Thanks to its high fiber content, amaranth may also decrease several heart disease risk factors.
In fact, one animal study found that amaranth seeds decreased both blood triglycerides and "bad" LDL cholesterol levels (26).
One cup (246 grams) of cooked amaranth contains 5 grams of fiber plus 9 grams of protein. It also meets 29 percent of your daily iron needs and contains a good amount of magnesium, phosphorus and manganese (27).
You can use amaranth as a substitute for other grains, such as rice or couscous. Amaranth that has been cooked and then chilled can also be used in place of cornstarch as a thickening agent for soups, jellies or sauces.
Summary: Some studies show that amaranth may be effective in reducing inflammation and reducing several risk factors for heart disease.
As the smallest grain in the world,
teff is a tiny but powerful grain.
Despite being just 1/100 the size of a kernel of wheat, teff packs a nutritional punch.
One cup (252 grams) of cooked teff contains 10 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber. It also provides plenty of B vitamins, especially thiamin (34).
For gluten-free baking, try substituting teff in part or in whole for wheat flour. Teff can also be mixed into chili, made into porridge or used as a natural way to thicken dishes.
Summary: Teff is the smallest grain in the world but is high in fiber and protein. Both these nutrients are essential to health and come with many benefits.
Corn, or maize, is among the most popular gluten-free cereal grains consumed around the world.
In addition to being high in fiber, corn is also one of the few foods containing the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, plant pigments that act as antioxidants (35).
One study found that those with a high intake of carotenoids had a 43 percent lower risk of age-related macular degeneration compared to those with a low intake (37).
1/2 cup (83 grams) of yellow corn contains 6 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein. It's also high in magnesium, vitamin B6, thiamin, manganese and selenium (38).
Corn can be boiled, grilled or roasted for a healthy side dish to a well-balanced meal. Enjoy it right off the cob or add it to a salad, soup or casserole.
Summary: Corn is high in fiber and a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that are associated with a decreased risk of eye disease.
Although brown and white rice come from the same grain, white rice has had the bran and germ of the grain removed during processing.
Brown rice thus has more fiber and a higher amount of many micronutrients, making it one of the healthiest gluten-free grains around.
Both varieties of rice are gluten-free, but studies show that replacing white rice with brown rice comes with added health benefits.
One cup (195 grams) of brown rice contains 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. It also provides a good portion of your magnesium and selenium needs for the day (42).
Brown rice makes a delicious side dish all on its own or can be combined with vegetables and a lean source of protein to create a filling meal.
Summary: Brown rice is high in fiber and associated with a decreased risk of diabetes, weight gain and heart disease when used in place of white rice.
The Bottom Line
When you have celiac disease or a sensitivity to gluten, following a gluten-free diet can be challenging.
However, there are plenty of gluten-free options available to replace wheat.
From providing antioxidants to reducing the risk of disease, these nutritious gluten-free grains can be incredibly beneficial to your health.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Authority Nutrition.
- New Clues Help Monarch Butterfly Conservation Efforts - EcoWatch ›
- Monarch Butterflies Will Be Protected Under Historic Deal - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
California faces another "critically dry year" according to state officials, and a destructive wildfire season looms on its horizon. But in a state that welcomes innovation, water efficacy approaches and drought management could replenish California, increasingly threatened by the climate's new extremes.
- Remarkable Drop in Colorado River Water Use Sign of Climate ... ›
- California Faces a Future of Extreme Weather - EcoWatch ›
Wisdom the mōlī, or Laysan albatross, is the oldest wild bird known to science at the age of at least 70. She is also, as of February 1, a new mother.
<div id="dadb2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="aa2ad8cb566c9b4b6d2df2693669f6f9"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1357796504740761602" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">🚨Cute baby alert! Wisdom's chick has hatched!!! 🐣😍 Wisdom, a mōlī (Laysan albatross) and world’s oldest known, ban… https://t.co/Nco050ztBA</div> — USFWS Pacific Region (@USFWS Pacific Region)<a href="https://twitter.com/USFWSPacific/statuses/1357796504740761602">1612558888.0</a></blockquote></div>
By Hui Hu
Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power – the winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather.
Comparing rime ice and glaze ice shows how each changes the texture of the blade. Gao, Liu and Hu, 2021, CC BY-ND
Ice buildup changes air flow around the turbine blade, which can slow it down. The top photos show ice forming after 10 minutes at different temperatures in the Wind Research Tunnel. The lower measurements show airflow separation as ice accumulates. Icing Research Tunnel of Iowa State University, CC BY-ND
While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.
theDOCK aims to innovate the Israeli maritime sector. Pexels<p>The UN hopes that new investments in ocean science and technology will help turn the tide for the oceans. As such, this year kicked off the <a href="https://www.oceandecade.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)</a> to galvanize massive support for the blue economy.</p><p>According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem," <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019338255#b0245" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Science Direct</a> reported. It represents this new sector for investments and innovations that work in tandem with the oceans rather than in exploitation of them.</p><p>As recently as Aug. 2020, <a href="https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/esg-investors-slow-make-waves-25tn-ocean-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Reuters</a> noted that ESG Investors, those looking to invest in opportunities that have a positive impact in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, have been interested in "blue finance" but slow to invest.</p><p>"It is a hugely under-invested economic opportunity that is crucial to the way we have to address living on one planet," Simon Dent, director of blue investments at Mirova Natural Capital, told Reuters.</p><p>Even with slow investment, the blue economy is still expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, Reuters reported. It already contributes $2.5tn a year in economic output, the report noted.</p><p>Current, upward <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/-innovation-blue-economy-2646147405.html" target="_self">shifts in blue economy investments are being driven by innovation</a>, a trend the UN hopes will continue globally for the benefit of all oceans and people.</p><p>In Israel, this push has successfully translated into investment in and innovation of global ports, shipping, logistics and offshore sectors. The "Startup Nation," as Israel is often called, has seen its maritime tech ecosystem grow "significantly" in recent years and expects that growth to "accelerate dramatically," <a href="https://itrade.gov.il/belgium-english/how-israel-is-becoming-a-port-of-call-for-maritime-innovation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">iTrade</a> reported.</p><p>Driving this wave of momentum has been rising Israeli venture capital hub <a href="https://www.thedockinnovation.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">theDOCK</a>. Founded by Israeli Navy veterans in 2017, theDOCK works with early-stage companies in the maritime space to bring their solutions to market. The hub's pioneering efforts ignited Israel's maritime technology sector, and now, with their new fund, theDOCK is motivating these high-tech solutions to also address ESG criteria.</p><p>"While ESG has always been on theDOCK's agenda, this theme has become even more of a priority," Nir Gartzman, theDOCK's managing partner, told EcoWatch. "80 percent of the startups in our portfolio (for theDOCK's Navigator II fund) will have a primary or secondary contribution to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria."</p><p>In a company presentation, theDOCK called contribution to the ESG agenda a "hot discussion topic" for traditional players in the space and their boards, many of whom are looking to adopt new technologies with a positive impact on the planet. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, the presentation outlines. As such, theDOCK also explicitly screens candidate investments by ESG criteria as well.</p><p>Within the maritime space, environmental innovations could include measures like increased fuel and energy efficiency, better monitoring of potential pollution sources, improved waste and air emissions management and processing of marine debris/trash into reusable materials, theDOCK's presentation noted.</p>
theDOCK team includes (left to right) Michal Hendel-Sufa, Head of Alliances, Noa Schuman, CMO, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & Managing Partner. Dudu Koren<p>theDOCK's own portfolio includes companies like Orca AI, which uses an intelligent collision avoidance system to reduce the probability of oil or fuel spills, AiDock, which eliminates the use of paper by automating the customs clearance process, and DockTech, which uses depth "crowdsourcing" data to map riverbeds in real-time and optimize cargo loading, thereby reducing trips and fuel usage while also avoiding groundings.</p><p>"Oceans are a big opportunity primarily because they are just that – big!" theDOCK's Chief Marketing Officer Noa Schuman summarized. "As such, the magnitude of their criticality to the global ecosystem, the magnitude of pollution risk and the steps needed to overcome those challenges – are all huge."</p><p>There is hope that this wave of interest and investment in environmentally-positive maritime technologies will accelerate the blue economy and ESG investing even further, in Israel and beyond.</p>
- 14 Countries Commit to Ocean Sustainability Initiative - EcoWatch ›
- These 11 Innovations Are Protecting Ocean Life - EcoWatch ›
- How Innovation Is Driving the Blue Economy - EcoWatch ›