Embark on a Great Grain Adventure!

Meagan Mohammadione, RD/LD Emory Bariatric CenterPeople often say that eating healthy is boring but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Bring some adventure to your plate by incorporating grains from across the globe. Using multiple whole food sources to get your necessary nutrients provides many health benefits.

About a quarter of our plates should be filled up with starches, including whole grains. The world provides us with a plethora of great grain options to keep us healthy and provide variety. Travel the globe through eating grains that are native to other countries and banish the boring. Here are two grain options to start your adventure.


Teff – is a grass native to Ethiopia with small seeds which cook quickly. The teff flour is traditionally used to make injera bread and now is used as a grain side dish in cultures in Europe and the US. Teff is an adaptable grain, thriving in both drought and waterlogged soil environments.

– Millet is the name given to a number of different small seed grains grown widely around the world. There are many varieties of millet with Pearl Millet being the most widely used variety. India is the largest producer of millet, with it often eaten as a popped snack, where as in the US, people often feed millet to birds! Americans are now giving millet a second look and seeing the value in consuming it themselves. Millet is a gluten-free grain and therefore can be consumed by people with Celiac disease. Millet contains high levels of magnesium, niacin, B6, calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc; however, millet needs to be roasted or germinated before boiling to get the most out of these nutrients. The protein in millet is similar to that in wheat. Millet is often cooked as porridge or with a stew and made into bread and crepes.Teff is a very nutritious grain being a good source of fiber, niacin, iron, thiamin, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and protein. Containing all 9 essential amino acids, it is considered a complete protein. It is also a gluten-free product so it can be eaten by people with Celiac disease.

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