Do you want a quick and tasty way to reduce your waistline? Add whole grains to your diet to lower your weight and benefit your heart as well. Three servings a day is recommended to lessen the risk of diabetes and heart disease and people who eat whole grains regularly, tend to have a smaller waist by at least an inch.
Easy and quick to cook, I’ll tell you about four fabulous finds that you can prepare in fifteen minutes or less.
1. Quinoa: Pronounced keen-wa, this grain comes from the Andes Mountains of South America. In ancient times, it was one of the three staple foods of the Incas, along with corn and potatoes. It’s light and easy on the stomach and unlike some grains, it doesn’t get all sticky. Gluten-free and rich in protein, quinoa cooks up in about twelve minutes. It’s great with salads, desserts, vegetables or seafood. Terrific as a snack or appetizer too. Try tossing cooked quinoa with black beans, salsa and chopped avocados for a tasty treat.
2. Bulgur: Considered to be man’s first processed food, bulgur is made from soaked wheat that is baked dry by the sun or oven then cracked. This pre-cooking process is how it differs from cracked wheat and makes it as easy to cook as converted rice. Boasting a whopping ten grams of fiber in about a quarter-cup, you can do your body-good, by adding this economical grain to your diet. Serve it in place of rice or couscous for a more nutritional accompaniment to your main dish or try eating a helping with some sliced apples or dates. Totally versatile, high-in-fiber and low-in-calories, a delicious dish with a belly busting punch.
3. Whole-wheat Couscous: Made from semolina durum wheat flour, it has a rich nutty flavor and makes a scrumptious side dish to any meal. Originating from North Africa, this tiny pearl-shaped pasta is rich in selenium, magnesium and fiber. Prepare it in five minutes for a last minute complement to a fine meal.
4. Teff: An ancient, gluten-free cereal grain, native to Northeastern Africa. About the size of a poppy seed, teff comes in a variety of colors ranging from white to dark brown, and sometimes can even be found in red. A quarter-cup of this cooked grain will provide over 20 percent of your daily requirements or iron, magnesium and copper. Simmer with low fat milk for a wonderful tasting hot cereal or make pancakes from the flour, they’ll be naturally sweet and shouldn’t require a lot of syrup or honey.
For recipes on these wholesome whole grain goodies, check out our “Members Only” section, where you can get your recipe-of-the-week. Not a member? Go to the Home page and sign up now.
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~ Karen Ficarelli
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