6 Protein-Rich Ancient Indian Grains You Must Not Ignore

Diets And Recipes
October 21, 2019

6 Protein-Rich Ancient Indian Grains You Must Not Ignore

Grains are a part of staple diets of cultures around the world and have made an important contribution to daily nutrient requirements. They are the bedrock of any good diet plan. But, the irony is that health conscious people today fail to recognize the importance of ancient Indian grains and are making a switch to modern grains like oats and quinoa.

The truth is, our very own Indian ancient grains are all unprocessed unlike the modern ones and are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fibers. This explains the reason why our grandparents were so active and had a good immunity to various diseases.

However, Indians today have started avoiding these local whole grains because of the false suggestions floating out there. It is being suggested by many nutritionists that these grains contain more of carbohydrates & fats which leads to weight gain. In fact, eating unprocessed whole grains does not lead to weight gain, whereas eating those hybrid forms of wheat & various other refined grains does.

So, do not get enamored with these modern grains and forego the Indian whole grains. Let us look at the 5 best nutrients & protein rich grains, which were always there on our grandparent’s plate that helped them stay fit:

Amaranth (Rajgira)

Amaranth or Rajgira is a super-nutritious grain and a major food crop of India. It is a great source of plant protein, which makes it beneficial for vegetarians. The protein content present in 100g of amaranth is 14g, which is higher as compared to other grains. It is also a great source of antioxidants and dietary fiber. The health benefits include strengthening of bones, improving vision, lowering high cholesterol level and managing diabetes mellitus. Furthermore, it is gluten-free, which makes it a perfect grain for individuals with celiac disease.

Buckwheat (Kuttu)

Buckwheat or Kuttu is not a grain, but a flour which is prepared from the leaves and flowers. It is commonly known in India as kuttu ka atta and is mainly consumed during the Navratra’s in various forms such as chapati, fritters etc. The protein content present in 100g of buckwheat is 13.2g and is of very high quality as the amino acid present is well-balanced. It has become very popular as a health food due to its high mineral and antioxidant content. Its benefits may include reduced blood sugar, improved heart health, and is gluten-free and therefore suitable for people with gluten intolerance.

Whole Wheat

Whole wheat is one of the most versatile of all grains, with 30,000 known varieties. It is the most common cereal grain and is staple in Indian diets. It is more affordable and is available all year round and can be consumed in the form of chapatis etc. The unrefined wheat contains complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber and the protein content present in 100g of wheat is 11.8g, which is moderate as compared to others. It helps in controlling obesity, increases energy, prevents type 2 diabetes and prevents gallstone.

Sorghum (Jowar)

In India jowar is famous as gluten-free alternative to wheat and can be eaten in various forms such as chapati, dosa, bhakri, cheela etc. This ancient Indian grain is a member of the millet family and one of the healthiest choices for carbohydrate intake. These are packed with vitamins and minerals, which include B-complex vitamins, copper, calcium, zinc, potassium and phosphorus. The protein content present in 100g of jowar is 10.4g and can be more if consumed in the sprouted form. In case you are diabetic or have an altered lipid profile, including jowar as a part of the daily diet would help in reducing the sugar levels.

Ragi (Nachni)

Ragi, also known as nachni, stands apart from other millets due to its high calcium content. It is one of the super-foods, which is regularly used in the kitchens of South India and is consumed in the form of various food items such as dosa, kanji etc. Not just for adults but for babies too, ragi is an excellent food ingredient. The protein content present in 100g of ragi is 7.3g which is comparatively lower than others but, the high calcium content combined with proteins makes it beneficial for the overall health. Besides this, regular intake of ragi battles anemia, aids weight loss, fights depression and maintains blood pressure within normal range.

The bottom line is, including these ancient Indian grains in your regular diet will have a long-term benefit. No need to avoid the refined grains for the rest of your life – just use them infrequently, once in a fortnight or in a month, cooked healthily and in small quantities, along with other nutritious foods. Try this path and you will see immediate results with ensured long-term benefits.

Protein-O-Meter

The amount of protein you need depends on your weight, goals, and lifestyle. Protein-O-Meter will take your body-composition and activity level into account to estimate your protein needs. Start with the number given by the calculator, see how that makes you feel, and try adjusting your protein level up or down to see what amount makes you feel good and perform well!

Protein Index

Find out all about whole foods that are protein heroes! Achieve your fitness goals by finding out just how much protein you should incorporate to stay nourished.

Protein-O-Meter

The amount of protein you need depends on your weight, goals, and lifestyle. Protein-O-Meter will take your body-composition and activity level into account to estimate your protein needs. Start with the number given by the calculator, see how that makes you feel, and try adjusting your protein level up or down to see what amount makes you feel good and perform well!

Protein Index

Find out all about whole foods that are protein heroes! Achieve your fitness goals by finding out just how much protein you should incorporate to stay nourished.

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