We're not about to undermine those with gluten sensitivities. But if you don't have any real issues with gluten, let us just say one thing: Gluten-free foods don't necessarily mean they're better for you. And when you unnecessarily ditch the gluten, you miss out on delicious food packed with great nutrients. (If you're a little confused about the gluten, don't miss these are 35 Gluten-Free Questions—Answered in 5 Words Or Less!) Below is a list of some good-for-you full-of-gluten foods that you shouldn't worry about if you don't have to!
"This ancient wheat grain tastes like brown rice, but with a pleasant chewier texture and nuttier flavor," says Toby Amidor, MS, RD, nutrition expert and author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen. "One cup of farro contains 220 calories, 2 grams of fat, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, and 8 grams of protein. It's also brimming with antioxidant vitamins A and E and minerals like magnesium and iron." Discover more of The Best Iron Rich Foods—And Why You Need Them!
Spelt is a grain related to wheat but with way more nutritional bang. It promotes to tissue and bone growth, has a decent amount of protein and it's another great fibrous-food that regulates the glucose in the body and contributes to diabetes prevention.
Packed with bloat-banishing fiber, low in calories, high in muscle-building protein, wheat bran is definitely a nutritional champion. Made from the dense, outer hull of wheat grains, it adds a sweet, nutty flavor to homemade muffins, waffles, pancakes, and breads. It also makes a good addition to hot and cold cereals.
Barley is not only good for your health but also a killer appetite suppressant that can help keep your diet on track all day. "Barley contains a whopping 6 grams of belly-filling, mostly-soluble fiber that has been linked to lowered cholesterol, decreased blood sugars and increased satiety," says Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN. It also has tons of health benefits like decreased inflammation and stabilized blood sugar levels. Bonus: you'll immediately feel lighter. Barley "acts as a bulking agent, which can help push waste through the digestive tract, regulating bowel movements." Speaking of BMs, check out these 23 Foods That Make You Poop.
Bulgur is one of the most fibrous, good-for-you gluten-filled foods you can have in your pantry staple. At 8.2 grams a cup, it's a great alternative to quinoa and brown rice and can be prepared for dinner on the fly.
Ever heard of Kamut? Rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, it's also high in protein while low in calories. A half-cup serving has 30 percent more protein than regular wheat (six grams) and only 140 calories. Eating this Middle Eastern grain reduces cholesterol, blood sugar and cytokines, which cause inflammation throughout the body, a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found. Toss it into salads or eat it as a side dish on its own.
Semolina is coarse grain used to make creamy porridge. It's iron-rich, low glycemic index, and is brimming B-complex vitamins that improve brain function. Speaking of brainy foods, here are 22 Best & Worst Foods for the Brain.