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7 Gluten-Free Grains You Should Add to Your Diet

EatingWell logo EatingWell 4 days ago Lauren Wicks
a piece of cake on a rock: Going gluten-free doesn't have to mean cutting carbs, thanks to these 7 delicious gluten-free grains. © Janine Lamontagne / Getty Images Going gluten-free doesn't have to mean cutting carbs, thanks to these 7 delicious gluten-free grains.

Whether you're eating gluten-free for medical reasons or to follow a diet plan, there are some incredible gluten-free whole grains out there to keep you full at each meal. Contrary to what you may think, you don't have to go low-carb if you're cutting gluten out of your diet, thanks to several delicious and nutritious types of grains.

Gluten-free grains are now easier than ever to find at the grocery store or on restaurant menus, thanks to a growing consumer desire for more whole-grain options. And these grains offer some serious health benefits—they're full of fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and good carbs, plus they can boost your heart health and even aid in weight loss. These gluten-free grains are excellent staples for anyone to add to their diets—here are seven of our favorites.

Quinoa

a bowl of food: Quinoa Power Salad © Provided by Meredith Corporation Quinoa Power Salad

Featured Recipe: Quinoa Power Salad

Thanks to the gluten-free and Paleo diet movements, quinoa has become the star of gluten-free grains—and for good reason. This nutty, nourishing whole grain is extremely versatile and can be found in everything from salads and grain bowls to brownies and sweet breakfast dishes.

Quinoa Nutrition

If not for its versatility, you should certainly add quinoa to your diet for nutritional purposes. Just one cup of cooked quinoa offers 20 percent of your daily fiber needs and 8g of plant protein! Additionally, quinoa is packed with essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, B vitamins and folate. It's especially great for plant-based eaters, since it contains all nine essential amino acids and is considered a complete protein.

Related: How to Cook Quinoa

Buckwheat

a plate of food on a table: Buckwheat Crepes with Strawberries, Rhubarb & White Chocolate © Provided by Meredith Corporation Buckwheat Crepes with Strawberries, Rhubarb & White Chocolate

Featured Recipe: Buckwheat Crepes with Strawberries, Rhubarb & White Chocolate

You may have heard about buckwheat, since it's a popular grain to use in extra-fluffy pancakes. However, buckwheat is also tasty as a hot cereal, in soba noodles, in your favorite soup or stew and in baked goods.

Buckwheat Nutrition

Buckwheat is even more loaded with fiber and protein than quinoa, making it the perfect breakfast staple to keep you going throughout the day. Just a half-cup of cooked buckwheat has 11g protein and one-third of your daily fiber needs. Buckwheat is also a great source of magnesium, iron, copper, manganese and phosphorus.

Oats

a bowl of food on a table: Creamy Blueberry-Pecan Overnight Oatmeal © Provided by Meredith Corporation Creamy Blueberry-Pecan Overnight Oatmeal

Featured Recipe: Creamy Blueberry-Pecan Overnight Oats

Oats are one of the most popular gluten-free grains out there, as they have long been a staple of the American diet. But oats aren't just delicious in sweet overnight oatmeal recipes. We love using oats in tons of recipes—from meatloaf to sweet potato casserole, or even in a savory hot cereal dish. While oats are gluten-free in and of themselves, just be sure you are purchasing oats that are "certified gluten-free," as they can sometimes be cross-contaminated with wheat, barley and rye.

Oats Nutrition

Our nutrition editor Lisa Valente, M.S., R.D., says oatmeal is the top food to eat for breakfast for several reasons. Oats are high in protein and fiber to keep you powered through the day—one cup of cooked oats has 5g protein and 4g fiber—plus, they're also rich in essential vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium and phosphorus.

Related: Whole Grain Cooking Guide

Amaranth

Amaranth Pudding with Amaretto Cream © Provided by Meredith Corporation Amaranth Pudding with Amaretto Cream

Featured Recipe: Amaranth Pudding with Amaretto Cream

Amaranth is a lesser-known whole grain that is finally starting to get some spotlight. This ingredient has long been used in sweet treats, granolas and even another version of popcorn. Trust us, you'll want to try it ASAP.

Amaranth Nutrition

One cup of cooked amaranth has 250 calories, 5g fiber and 9g protein to bulk up your favorite grain-based recipes. It's an excellent source of iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium and zinc. This makes it a great grain choice for vegans and vegetarians who often miss out on some of these important nutrients.

Brown Rice

a bowl of food on a plate: Chicken Tinga Bowls with Calabacitas & Brown Rice © Provided by Meredith Corporation Chicken Tinga Bowls with Calabacitas & Brown Rice

Featured Recipe: Chicken Tinga Bowls with Calabacitas & Brown Rice

Rice is an ingredient most of us have in our pantries, and whether you're reaching for wild, white, black or brown rice, you're making an excellent gluten-free grain choice. Rice has been a diet staple for thousands of years, and we think it should be part of yours as well, whether you're gluten-free or not. You'll find it across all cuisines, from burrito bowls to stir fries to curries and more.

Brown Rice Nutrition

We'll focus on brown rice specifically when it comes to nutritional benefits, as brown rice is a whole grain and has the most protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals per serving. One cup of cooked long-grain brown rice has 216 calories, 3.5g fiber and 5g protein. Additionally, it is a great source of selenium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus.

Corn

a bowl of food on a plate: Roasted Root Vegetables with Goat Cheese Polenta © Provided by Meredith Corporation Roasted Root Vegetables with Goat Cheese Polenta

Featured Recipe: Roasted Root Vegetables with Goat Cheese Polenta

Yes, corn can be a grain too! Corn is used to make grits, polenta and, of course, cornmeal for some truly iconic dishes (like cornbread, shrimp and grits and a veggie-packed polenta with eggs). Yum!

Corn Nutrition

Contrary to popular belief, corn is actually healthy. Corn isn't as high in sugar as most people think—about 6g in a medium-sized ear—and only a small portion of corn crops are genetically modified. One cup of corn kernels has 160 calories, 4.5g fiber and even 5.5g protein. B vitamins, iron, potassium and a host of antioxidants make this a food worth eating.

Related: What Does a Healthy Serving of Carbs Look Like?

Teff

a plate of food on a table: Garlic Shrimp over Teff © Provided by Meredith Corporation Garlic Shrimp over Teff

Featured Recipe: Garlic Shrimp over Teff

From flatbreads to fudgy brownies, there are so many ways to incorporate teff into your diet! Teff is one the smallest grains on this list—it's about the size of a poppy seed—and it has long been a staple food in several types of African cuisine. It's often ground into flour for baking or simply cooked to serve with protein and veggies.

Teff Nutrition

One cup of cooked teff has 255 calories, 10g protein and 7g fiber for a seriously nutritious food. Teff is also a fantastic source of iron and magnesium, as well as a good source of B vitamins, zinc and calcium.

Nutrition Information: USDA FoodData Central

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