Ancient grains may have been left on the sidelines for a few generations, but they're definitely making a comeback. Brace yourself because what you will learn about ancient grains could possibly and positively change your lifestyle!
Ancient Grains: What You Know Could Save You!
With the recent popularity of chia seeds, quinoa, and amaranth, interest in these ancient grains have since increased. And with my propensity to be drawn to anything ‘healthy', I've included quinoa and chia seeds in my diet.
Of course, before I went nuts over these foods, I did my own searching and found more positive revelations about these healthy grains. Not only are they an excellent food source, they're also perfect for my homesteading lifestyle. Read on to know what ancient grains are, what's in it, and why they're still enjoying popularity today.
What Are Ancient Grains?
Ancient grains or heritage grains are a grouping of seed- or fruit-based cereals which trace its roots as far as the beginning of civilization. These heritage grains have been cultivated for thousands of years but didn't achieve the prominence modern grains like corn, rice, and wheat got.
However, unlike modern grains, these grains changed so little over the millennia. Perhaps, farmers preference for faster-growing crops like corn and wheat spared these grains from crop manipulation and selective breeding.
Ancient grains were once important crops in different cultures, though they've lost that distinction over the years. For example, quinoa was once revered by the Incas, farro grains was mentioned in the Bible, and barley and oats were once essential crops during 19th century-Europe.
With their recent rediscovery in the West, their popularity is expected to rise and continue. So much so that they could be our food of tomorrow.
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What's The Fuss With Ancient Grains?
With the belief that the Paleo diet is healthier, plus the old-world romanticism of ‘slow food', heritage grains are making a revival. While cultivation of these crops has been limited, they are increasingly taking over shelves in stores and the market. You can now easily find pasta, artisan bread, and cereal made from heritage grains.
Luckily, heritage grains have been continually cultivated organically in different communities around the globe. Because these grains remained natural, they are the stuff of healthy-eater dreams. They make a great choice and a healthy addition to grains and carbs since they are less refined and apparently contain a higher amount of essential nutrients.
Organic, higher fiber and nutritional content, gluten-free, and protein-rich are just some of the characteristics ancient grains boast.
Perhaps, being unchanged from selective cropping and biotechnological research, they've managed to be just as they were for the past centuries–just as healthy. In short, ancient grains are non-GMO—great news for health watchers and organic growers.
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Have You Tried These Ancient Grains?
- Wild Rice
- Khorasan Wheat (Kamut)
Grains versus Pseudocereals
Technically, not all of the heritage grains are grains, but they have been classified along with grains since they are prepared in the same manner. Sorghum, oats, rye, barley, millet and wild rice are considered grains while buckwheat, chia, amaranth, and quinoa are pseudocereals.
— Homesteading (@HomesteadingUSA) August 19, 2017
Nutritional Benefits Of Ancient Grains
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Generally, heritage grains are all said to be more nutritious and healthier than modern grains. They are said to contain more protein, perfect for vegans who need plant-based protein in their diet.
However, the nutritional properties of grains are varied and sometimes unique to a variety. For example, oats have a hefty level of thiamine, chia doubles in fiber content compared to other grains, and spelt has a high level of manganese.
Ancient grains, often referred to as ‘super grains', are said to be rich in protein, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. Ongoing research shows that these healthy grains are likely to decrease the cholesterol level in consumers. It has been also shown to help prevent diabetes and certain cancers, specifically colon and breast cancer.
Some grains are celebrated for being gluten-free, but not all ancient grains are gluten-free. Millet, teff, buckwheat, quinoa, and amaranth are gluten-free, but oats and the ancient kinds of wheat like Khorasan and Spelt are not.
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Ancient Grains For Survival
As we have time and again pointed out, every homesteader is practically a survivalist. It should be clear by now that ancient grains are not only hardy, for indeed they have withstood the test of time.
They grow in some of the harshest conditions and they practically thrive on neglect. Most heritage grains are also long-storing, like buckwheat, kamut, and spelt which survive for as long as 30 years or longer when stored properly. With that said, ancient grains are definitely your ultimate survival food item.
Now, I can safely conclude that these ancient food sources could be the food of today and tomorrow. Not only did these foods survive without intervention and manipulation, they've nourished our ancestors and can nourish us just as well.
Get familiar with these ancient grains out in their natural environment so you know where and what to look for in any survival situation. Knowing about ancient grains can definitely save your life, health-wise and survival-wise.
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Follow some of the most celebrated ancient grains here in this video:
Now you know a great deal more about the ‘super grains' ancient grains. Whether you are looking forward to a healthier lifestyle, looking for variety in your food choices, or looking for a survival food item, you got it with ancient grains!
What do you think about the ancient grains? Share your thoughts about it in the comments section below!