Categories: DietsFitness

How Ancient Grains Can Boost Your Health and Nutrition


Ancient grains are getting a lot of attention these days as a healthy alternative to processed wheat products. But they’re not exactly a new health food fad. In fact, such grains – including buckwheat, quinoa, and spelt – have been around for thousands of years.

Unlike the cultivated, refined grains used in most conventional food products today, ancient grains are whole grains or wheats that provide higher nutritional value because they have remained largely unchanged in form for millennia.

Many of these are believed to be more effective than refined grains in helping to prevent heart disease, reduce aging, combat age-related mental decline, and lower diabetes risks.

“The nutritional benefits of whole grains and ancient grains absolutely outweigh refined grain products,” notes Kelly Toups, a nutrition specialist and program director of the Whole Grains Council.

“By removing the healthful bran and germ, refined grains lose about a quarter of their protein, and half to two-thirds or more of a score of nutrients, leaving the grain a mere shadow of its original self. Enrichment adds back fewer than a half-dozen of the many missing nutrients, and does so in proportions different than they originally existed.”

Dr. Mehmet Oz also endorses ancient grains, and has noted they are “packed with heart-friendly polyphenols, anti-inflammatories and nutrients.” Some examples include:

  • Amaranth.
  • Buckwheat.
  • Einkorn.
  • Kamut.
  • Millet.
  • Quinoa.
  • Spelt.
  • Black barley.
  • Red and black rice.
  • Whole grain oats.
  • Blue corn.

According to a 2015 review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which analyzed the results of 24 randomized controlled trials (involving 2,275 participants) researchers found eating whole grains correlates with lower levels of cholesterol (including the “bad” LDL form that raises heart disease risks).

In addition, the analysis showed that consuming whole grain oats led to the greatest reduction in cholesterol, compared to other grains.

Toups notes that such grains are typically found in the bulk bins at supermarkets and some whole food stores. You can add these grains to soup, cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, and cottage cheese.

She also recommends checking food labels to identify products, such as pasta varieties, made with ancient grains. Some pastas and other foods are made with them.

“Ancient grains are fairly affordable compared to other trendy ingredients or health foods, such as Greek yogurt, salmon, and avocados,” she adds.

In addition, she explains that a number of ancient and heirloom varieties of wheat are also good choices — including einkorn, farro, spelt, emmer, and kamut.

Troups explains that it’s easy to include ancient grains in home-cooked meals.

“Try starting your day with artisan, ancient grain toast topped with mashed avocado and chili flakes, or try a warm porridge of millet with apples, cinnamon, and honey,” she suggests.

“For lunch, [try] a freekeh salad with spring greens, chickpeas, tomatoes, radishes, and Greek dressing is a delicious option, while a chicken and vegetable stir fry is great with barley, sorghum, or quinoa as the base.”

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "How Ancient Grains Can Boost Your Health and Nutrition" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.


Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*


Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*

Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card

Recent Posts

Swayback Posture: Identifying and Treating the Issue

Can chiropractic treatment alleviate pain and correct swayback posture, a postural deformity that can cause… Read More

June 14, 2024

Heat Exhaustion vs. Stroke: Effects on the Musculoskeletal System Explained

Do individuals with muscle pain know the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion and… Read More

June 14, 2024

A Guide to Low-Sugar Fruits

Can fruit help with a sweet craving for individuals trying to limit sugar? Fruits Low… Read More

June 13, 2024

The Benefits of Cycling for Osteoarthritis: A Comprehensive Guide

Can individuals with osteoarthritis can incorporate cycling to reduce joint pain and regain their joint… Read More

June 13, 2024

Achieve Your Fitness Goals Faster with Sprint Exercise Training

For individuals who don't have time for a full workout, could incorporating sprint exercise training… Read More

June 12, 2024

Exploring the Clinical Approach and the Importance of Nursing

How do healthcare professionals provide a clinical approach in the role of nursing to reducing… Read More

June 12, 2024