We all know that wholegrains are good for us. For instance, when it comes to our food, how often have we seen ‘brown=good’. So why is brown pasta better than white and are those extra minutes cooking up wholegrain rice really worth it? Well, salads are definitely good for you so why not make them even better and consider putting in some wholegrains to boost their nutritional punch even further!
What’s the difference between whole grains and refined grains?
So, before we get into why you might want to get some more wholegrains in your greens, let’s take a quick look at the difference between the two main types. Grains come from foods such as bread, pasta and rice, but it’s the way they are treated which makes the difference.
Wholegrains are simply that – the entire grain. Nothing is taken away during processing and the nutritious germ and bran remain. Grains that have been ground into flour or processed in other ways have the bran and germ removed, which takes away some of that natural nutrition. These are known as ‘refined’ and are generally the white versions of foods such as bread, pasta and rice.
Why they are good!
Love your heart – You only get one heart so take good care of it! The fibre and other nutrients found in wholegrains have been linked with reducing levels of blood cholesterol and also contribute towards the reduction of blood pressure and inflammation.
Vital nutrients – Who likes vitamins? Your body does! Wholegrains contain a whole bunch of B-vitamins which help keep you feeling good and are vital for a whole range of bodily functions and wellbeing. They also contain folic acid which helps the body form new cells, iron to help your blood transport oxygen and magnesium and selenium which help maintain a healthy immune system and hormone balances.
Watch your weight – As wholegrains are complex carbohydrates they take your body a longer time to break down. This means that you will feel fuller for longer which can curb those urges to snack between meals.
So how can you get them in your salad?
Ok, so now that you know a little more about wholegrains, it’s time to get them in your salads! Here are a few ideas…
Mackerel & Quinoa Salad » – even though, technically, quinoa is a seed, it’s also considered a wholegrain and is a very popular substitute for refined grains and carbs. This salad not only has wholegrain goodness, but also packs a protein punch and omega 3 thanks to the fish.
Vegetable salad with wild rice and baby kale » – Baby kale is loaded with awesome natural nutrition such as vitamins A, C, K and a bunch of antioxidants. Swap out the wild rice for brown rice and you’re onto a real winner.
Pesto pasta with salad leaves » – Just like brown rice, brown pasta is always a healthier choice, so have a go at creating this flavoursome and simple salad which takes just ten minutes to make.