Flour and grains

Which grains have gluten? And what are the nutritional benefits of both grains and flour made from them? Find out here! And then try this bread baking recipe!

  • Quinoa, Rice and Sorgum are Gluten free grains
  • Buckwheat and Millet are Low Allergen foods and not 100% Gluten free
  • Amaranth, Oats and Spelt / Farro  contain Low amounts of Gluten
  • Rye, Triticale and Whole Wheat contain less Gluten than White Flour
  • Corn and White Flour are common allergen foods

GRAIN MICRO NUTRIENTS NUTRITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS FUNCTIONAL BENEFITS AND PHYTO- NUTRIENTS NUTRITIONAL NOTES AND DANGERS
Quinoa magnesium, manganese; Vit B2, E, Iron, Phosphorus, Copper, Zinc gluten free and least allergenic grain; high protein content and amino acid profile – all essential amino acids ratio of magnesium : calcium = 3:1; wash before use – saponins may be left on grains; moderate levels oxalate (kidney stones)
Rice Brown rice – Vit B1, B2, B3, B6, Manganese, Iron, Selenium, Magnesium, Phosphorous, other trace minerals Low allergen food; not commonly contaminated with pesticides Gamma-oryzanol – in rice bran and rice bran oil lowers cholesterol and has other health benefits Brown rice – most nutritious form: nearly all  vitamins and  minerals lost in white rice; White rice: no oxalates; Brown rice – moderate amounts oxalate (kidney stones)
Sorghum Vit B1,B2, B3, Iron, Potassium Low allergen food (no gluten), Low pesticide content and Phyto-nutrient star – high levels of flavonoids and anthyocyanins and may be as high or higher in anthocyanidins as blueberries; excellent protein availability; high in complex carbohydrates and excellent fiber source High in Tannins – anti-cancer; high in Phenols – block initiation, promotion and progression of cancer in colon, esophageal, lung, liver, pancreas and breast cancer; tannins and anthocyanins – anti-oxidants that inhibit cardiovascular disease; Anthocyanins: free-radical scavenger, decreases tumor growth, reduce blood cholesterol, prevents oxidation of cholesterol and blood cell clumping, enhances activity of Vit C, strengthens collagen, improves peripheral circulation, helps protect eyes (especially in diabetic retinopathy); also contains many other anti-cancer and anti-oxidant phyto-nutrients Refrigerate flour – ease of rancidity
Buckwheat Magnesium; Manganese, Phosphorus, Vit B5 high quality protein – all 8 amino acids; gluten free (but still a potential allergy food) lowered risk of high blood pressure  and high cholesterol; lower risk of heart disease No gluten but contains prolamines that are similar to alpha-gliadin of wheat; lacks bran but still a good source of fiber
Millet, hulled Phosphorus, magnesium, B1, B2, B3, B6 protein content – superior to wheat, corn and rice protection against heart disease, diabetes, cancer – due to fiber Gluten free but contains prolamines that are similar to alpha-gliadin of wheat; contains Goitrogens (thyroid gland)
Amaranth seeds Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese, Vit E; Potassium, Zinc Unusually high protein content; high content of lysine and methionine, amino acids not usually found in grains; protein 90% digestible and absorbable; combined with wheat, corn or brown rice provides a complete protein; Good fiber content, less allergenic (virtually gluten free) and low GI score (good for diabetics) Tocotrienols – vit E fraction with anti-oxidant cardiovascular health benefits; Tocotrienols, Squalene (fatty acid) and other components have  cholesterol lowering activity: reduce cholesterol synthesis, enhance breakdown of cholesterol (into bile by liver enzymes); Phytosterols – prevent chronic degenerative disease, inhibit absorption of cholesterol by blocking absorption sites, enhance immune function, inhibit Epstein Barr virus, prevent cancer and have anticancer effects, structurally similar to cholesterol and steroid hormones Contains small amounts of gluten; Must be cooked or sprouted – in raw form blocks absorption of nutrients in GI tract; lysine sensitive to dry heat (such as popping, dry frying) but content of lysine enhanced by sprouting; moderate to large amounts oxalate (kidney stones)
Spelt / Farro B vitamins Not normally treated with pesticides and chemicals in growing; easy to digest; complete protein food, high fiber; Very good athletic food for carbohydrate  due to easy digestion, immuno support and high levels complex carbohydrates Mucopolysaccharides – Only grain to contain this special type of carbohydrate which stimulates immune system, lowers blood cholesterol and plays vital role in blood clotting Contains low amounts of gluten – should be removed if on low allergen diet; Flour must be refrigerated and avoid cracked berries; berries must be soaked for 8 hours; gluten is more delicate than wheat gluten and requires less liquid; in breads, make sponge in order to activate enzymes that can break down complex carbohydrates; moderate oxalates (kidney stones)
Oats Manganese, Selenium, Phosphorus; Magnesium, Iron, Vit B1 High in fiber – beta glucan removes cholesterol by binding to bile acids, preventing reabsorption; Polyunsaturated fat content – cholesterol lowering; excellent diabetic food – low rise in blood sugar Cholesterol lowering; Blood sugar control Possible allergen food and contains Low amounts of Gluten – should be removed if on allergen removal diet; High Fat content – can go rancid; ratio of magnesium : calcium = 3:1; Moderate to low amounts oxalate (kidney stones)
Barley Copper, Magnesium, Phosphorus Fiber – beta-glucan lowers cholesterol by binding it to bile acids for removal in feces Contains gluten; ratio of magnesium : calcium = 4:1; moderate to large amounts oxalate (kidney stones)
Rye Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vit B1 high fiber – prevents blood sugar spikes and reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome; reduces colon cancer – due to action of fiber in bowel and also encouraging butyric acid production in bowel (fuel for colon cells) Provides sense of fullness and helps normalize bowel function – due to non-cellulose polysaccharide fibers with high water binding capacity Contains Gluten but less elastic gluten that holds less gas – breads become compact and dense; ratio of magnesium : calcium = 3:1
Triticale Manganese, Vit B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, E Folic acid, Calcium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Copper, Magnesium, Iron High Lysine content – amino acid that is first to be in short supply when body is making protein; hybrid of wheat and rye – less gluten Contains gluten and less gluten than normal wheat; flour should be kept cool to prevent rancidity; breads will be dense and should be made into sponge – gluten will be delicate; berries must be soaked overnight before cooking; moderate amounts oxalate (kidney stones)
Corn Vit B1; Vit B5, C, E Folic acid, Magnesium, Phosphorus Colored corn (e.g. Purple) contains flavonoids and carotenes; Lutein in yellow corn protects against heart disease and macular degeneration Common food allergen; GMO risk – buy organic corn, cornmeal and corn flour; Low protein food – lysine and typtophan levels are minimal; moderate to high amounts oxalate (kidney stones)
Wheat Whole wheat – Manganese, Vit B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, E Folic acid, Calcium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Copper, Magnesium, Iron Wheat bran – reduces risk of colon cancer, breast cancer (decreases blood estrogen levels); promotes regular bowel function Common allergen food; Whole grain is best – 40% loss of all vitamins and minerals in white flour and enrichment cannot replace what is lost (may be unabsorbable);  moderate to large amounts oxalate (kidney stones)

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Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

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