Amaranth – is very old pseudo-cereal plant native to Peru, and was used for its grains by the Aztecs for 6000 years. Its seeds are tiny, but very rich in nutrients. Amaranth is an excellent source of copper, magnesium and manganese. It is also a great source of fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin B6.
Buckwheat – is not wheat but another pseudo-cereal, originally from Eastern Europe, now cultivated all over the world. Buckwheat is an excellent source of manganese and a good source of copper and magnesium. It has also a significant amount of zinc.
Corn – is not rich in any specific nutrients but it is a significant source of vitamins B2, B3, C, Folate, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
Job’s Tears (Hato Mugi) – also known as Chinese pearl barley, is a popular grain in Asia.
Millet – is a group of small-seeded grains from the grass family. It predates rice as Asia’s staple grain. It is now grown all over the world and is the sixth most important world grain. Millet is an excellent source of copper, and a good source manganese and magnesium. Also it has some antioxidant properties.
Quinoa – is a pseudo-cereal originally from the Andean mountains in South America. Quinoa is not really a grain but belongs to the same family as spinach, beets and chard. Quinoa is an excellent source of manganese and copper, and a good source of fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. It is also rich in the essential amino acids.
Rice – brown rice is an excellent source of manganese and a good source of magnesium, copper and vitamin B6. White rice (enriched in many countries including the U.S.) is a good source of manganese, iron, copper, folate and vitamin B1. (4, 5)
Wild rice – is a semi-aquatic grass native to North America. It was a traditional staple food of Native Americans. Wild rice is a good source of manganese, zinc and copper and contains significant amounts of vitamins B1 and B2 and B3.
Sorghum – is the fifth most important grain crop in the world. Native to Africa, sorghum is now grown all over the world. It is drought tolerant and grown in areas of the world with little water to feed animals and people. It is rich in fiber and iron, high in protein and rich in antioxidants.
Teff – is a tiny grain from the lovegrass genus. It is native to Africa and is now grown extensively in Asia and other parts of the world. It is very rich in calcium, iron and vitamin C.
Some of these grains, such as corn and rice, are easily available in grocery stores, while others are available only in health food stores. All of them can be used to make a variety of dishes, including breads and desserts.
You can also use flour of the gluten-free grains instead of wheat starch, to thicken sauces, gravies and soups.
NUTRITION FACTS VS NUTRITION MYTHS
You will find a summary of the most common nutrition myths and evidence-based nutrition facts here.