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Whole Grains MonthSeptember is whole grains month sponsored by the Whole Grains Council.  You may be thinking, with so many parents removing gluten from children’s diets to effect behavioral change, why on earth would Special-Ism honor whole grains month?

Well, whole grains are a healthy grain and there are many whole grains that are innately gluten-free.  Therefore, you can garner the nutritional benefits of whole grains while steering clear of gluten.

Whole grains vary in their nutritional value.  Some are contain more of one specific nutrient than another.  It is wise to consume a wide variety to achieve the best range of healthy nutrients.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the gluten-free whole grains.

Amaranth

Amaranth is highest in manganese.  “Manganese is an essential nutrient involved in many chemical processes in the body, including processing of cholesterol, carbohydrates, and protein.” (1)

Amaranth is also an excellent source of magnesium and phosphorus.  “About 85% of the body’s phosphorus is in bones and teeth. Phosphorous is also present in smaller amounts in cells and tissues throughout the body. Phosphorus helps filter out waste in the kidneys and plays an essential role in how the body stores and uses energy.” (2)

“Magnesium is important in more than 300 chemical reactions that keep the body working properly.” (3)

Buckwheat

Buckwheat is an excellent source of magnesium, copper and manganese.  Copper “helps your body make red blood cells and keeps nerve cells and your immune system healthy. It also helps form collagen, a key part of bones and connective tissue. Copper may also act as an antioxidant, reducing free radicals that can damage cells and DNA. Copper helps the body absorb iron. Your body also needs copper to make energy.” (4)
Check out this delicious recipe for Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies using buckwheat flour!

Corn

Corn is a good source of multiple nutrients such as fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, selenium and thiamin (B1).

“Selenium is an essential trace mineral important for cognitive function and a healthy immune system.” (5)

“All B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which the body uses to produce energy. B complex vitamins are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver. They also help the nervous system function properly and are needed for good brain function.” (6)

Kids will love this recipe for Honey Cornbread Muffins!

Millet

Millet is an excellent source of manganese and a good source of protein, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, thiamin and niacin.

“Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.” (7)

“Fiber is also known as roughage. It is the indigestible part of plant foods that pushes through our digestive system, absorbing water along the way and easing bowel movements.” (8)

Niacin is a wonderful cholesterol regulator.

Try this great breakfast recipe called Millet Delight.

Oats

Oats are a huge source of manganese.  Additionally, oats are good sources of all the nutrients already mentioned – adding iron and zinc.

Iron is an essential mineral that helps to transport oxygen throughout the body.  Boost Dietary Iron & Improve Behavioral Isms.

Zinc is “often used to treat stunted growth and acute diarrhea in children, and slow wound healing.  It is also used for boosting the immune system, treating the common cold and recurrent ear infections.  It is also used to treat attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), blunted sense of taste (hypogeusia), and Down syndrome.” (9)

Special Note: “Oats are inherently gluten-free, but are frequently contaminated with wheat during growing or processing. Several companies – Bob’s Red Mill, Cream Hill Estates, GF Harvest, and Avena Foods are currently among those that offer pure, uncontaminated oats.” (10)

Check out these 50 Amazing Oatmeal Recipes

Quinoa

Quinoa is an excellent source of magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and folic acid (B9).

“Folic acid is a B-complex vitamin needed by the body to manufacture red blood cells.” (11)

Make quinoa your new side dish! Check out these yummy recipes.

Rice

Brown rice offers a huge dose of manganese and is a a good source of many other the previously mentioned nutrients.  It also offers pyridoxine.

“Pyridoxine is used to treat “tired blood” (anemia).  Pyridoxine is also used for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Down syndrome, and autism.” (12, 13)

Check out Slow-Cooker Coconut Brown Rice Pudding.

Wild Rice is a good source of protein, fiber, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, pyridoxine and folic acid.
Wild Rice Pancakes may be a good way to sneak in the texture of wild rice.

Sorghum

Sorghum is an excellent source of manganese and a good source of fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium and niacin.

You can make sorghum bowls, bake with sorghum flour, make a sorghum salad, sweeten with sorghum syrup and make your own sorghum butter!

Check out this recipe for Sorghum Granola.

Teff

If your body is needing manganese to process carbohydrates and protein, then Teff is for you! It meets more than 100% of the recommended daily allowance.  Additionally it is a good source of many of the previously mentioned nutrients.

You will find an assortment of delicious recipes for Teff such as Pumpkin Teff Energy Bar and Apple Pear Crisp.

As you can see, you have a wide variety of options to obtain the benefits of whole grains while maintaining a gluten free diet.  If you have a great recipe to share for one of these grains, please share with our readers on Facebook or Twitter.

References

(1) Manganese: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings – WebMD.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 31 Aug. 2015.

(2) Phosphorus.University of Maryland Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Aug. 2015.

(3) Magnesium: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings.WebMD. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2015.

(4) “Copper.” University of Maryland Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Aug. 2015.

(5) What Are the Health Benefits of Selenium?Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, n.d. Web. 31 Aug. 2015.

(6) “Vitamin B1 (Thiamine).” University of Maryland Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Aug. 2015.

(7) Feature, Neil Osterweil WebMD. “The Benefits of Protein.WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2015.

(8) What Is Fiber? What Is Dietary Fiber? Fiber Rich Foods.Medical News Today. N.p., 9 Sept. 2014. Web. 31 Aug. 2015.

(9) Zinc: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings.WebMD. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2015.

(10) Gluten Free Whole Grains.Whole Grains Council. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2015.

(11) Folic Acid: MedlinePlus Drug Information.U.S National Library of Medicine. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2015.

(12) Dolina, S., D. Margalit, S. Malitsky, and A. Rabinkov. “Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as a Pyridoxine-dependent Condition: Urinary Diagnostic Biomarkers.National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2015.

(13) Lelord, G., JP Muh, C. Barthelemy, J. Martineau, and B. Garreau. “Effects of Pyridoxine and Magnesium on Autistic Symptoms-Initial Obser.Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Springer, n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2015.