Whole Grains.

Stocking a healthy vegan pantry has never been easier than it is right now!

With a full on vegan pantry in play and the right mind set, you simply cannot go wrong! Remember to give your palette a couple of weeks to adjust and get used to not consuming animal products. Once your palettes have been ‘reset’ to clean and healthy whole foods, you shall never look back again!

Grains play an integral part of healthy health, and there are so many healthy whole grains out there that we assume not everyone has heard of or tried as yet!

This list may not be a surprise to someone who is already vegan however, it can be a great resource to someone who is about to climb on board the vegan train! It is important that you incorporate a healthy balance of vegetables, legumes, fruit, nut, seed, herbs and spices, and off course grains into your diet for optimum health.

Having the right and basic ingredients in your pantry means you can cook a healthy meal, hopefully in a short time after you come home from a busy and tiring workday. Being vegan is not difficult but it takes a little effort on our part, especially when we are starting out. A vegan pantry does not contain any animal products, yet you can make wonderful meals with what you have on hand.

The below list is a basic list which offers a wonderful variety of grains for you to try!

Whole Grains:

* Whole Wheat Couscous
* Brown Rice
* Quinoa (Pronounced Keen-wah)
* Amaranth
* Barley
* Oats
* Millet
* Spelt Flour:
* Whole Wheat
* Wheat Pastry flour (Good substitute for Maida or while flour)
* Teff Flour
* Soy Flour
* Besan (Gram flour)
* Rice Flour
* Beans flour (Any beans)
* Grains flour
* Semolina (Rava)

With these additions to your pantry you can make so very many dishes, everything from baked goods (bread etc), to pasta, pizza, pilaf, soups, stir fries, breakfasts, salads, burgers, desserts, breakfast, lunch and dinners, every dish can be veganized and it is very possible to live a healthy, cruelty free life every day!

Why Are Whole Grains So Healthy?

Whole-grain foods keep all parts of the grain.  Processed foods keep only the part called the endosperm, which is the flour portion of the grain. That makes whole grain foods better sources of:

various breads, whole grains, wheat

  • B Vitamins
  • Vitamin E
  • selenium
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Magnesium
  • Fiber

These and other nutrients are lost when the grain is refined for white rice or white flour.  Even though some vitamins and minerals are added back to refined grains after they go through the milling process, they still are not as good as the original.

Eating More Whole-Grain Foods:

To include more whole-grain foods in your diet:

  • Add barley or wild rice to soups, stews, and casseroles.
  • Choose:
    • oatmeal or another whole-grain cereal over corn flakes or other low-fiber cereals.
    • whole-wheat or whole-grain breads instead of bread made from refined flour.
      • Check the package to make sure the word “whole” is associated with the first item in the ingredient listing.
    • popcorn or whole-grain crackers instead of snacks made from refined grains.
    • brown rice instead of refined white rice.
    • whole-grain pasta instead of regular pasta.

How to Know If a Product Is “Whole” Grain

Remember that whole grain foods cannot always be identified by colour or name, such as multi-grain or wheat. Look for the “whole” grain listed first in the ingredient list on nutrition labels, such as:

  • whole wheat
  • whole oats
  • brown rice.

What the Research Says

The benefits of eating more whole grains are becoming clearer as scientists continue to examine the evidence.  Researchers analyzed several studies totalling 149,000 participants on the relation between whole grains and heart disease.  The findings showed a consistent association between eating at least 2 1/2 servings of whole grains a day and good heart health.  The health benefits, researchers found, include a lower rate of:

In addition, the American Institute of Cancer Research suggests that diets rich in whole grains can reduce the incidence of certain types of cancer. Whole grains contain nutrients and compounds that can protect cells from damage that could lead to cancer. These include:

Eating more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans could also eliminate  meat and processed meat in our diet –  foods that are linked to increased cancer risk.

 Points to Remember:

  • Eating at least 2 ½ servings of whole grains a day can be good for your heart. Balance these out with a variety of other vegan food group options.
  • Choose oatmeal or other whole-grain pasta, cereals, and breads instead of refined products.
  • Look for the “whole” grain listed first in the ingredient list on nutrition labels, such as:
    • whole wheat
    • whole oats
    • brown rice.

Unless you have celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity or another reason to cut back, you don’t want to miss out on the health benefits of whole grains. You’re getting fiber, a healthy plant-based protein, vitamins, minerals and a variety of phytochemicals that will improve your health.

Whole grains help digestion, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, can help weight control, redistribute fat, make you feel full, regulate blood sugar, some grains even deliver calcium and vitamin C, they are a jolly good source of B Vitamins, they deliver essential minerals, may even reduce asthma risk, they cut markers of inflammation, may even lower cancer risk, they protect your teeth and gums, and may even help you live longer.

So go ahead, enjoy your grains! We would love to hear how you make use of them! Do share for everyone’s benefit of health!

~ Active Vegan ~