Variety of cereals

Today we find many varieties of cereals on the market for our consumption. These come in different forms to be consumed in different ways, from the whole grain, to drinks, muesli, flour, breads, etc.. Then we will see the main types of cereals that can be found as well as some of its features. Many of these grains are not found in conventional stores or supermarkets, so we have to turn to specialty stores such as herbal or dietetics food stores if we want to find them.

Quinoa, black beans and mango salad. Photography by Tomatoes and Friends - Creative Commons License

  • Amaranth: Less known in the west, amaranth was used by the Aztecs, and it was found that in the areas of Africa and Latin America where it is consumed there is no malnutrition. Rich in protein and calcium, being therefore particularly interesting for children, pregnant or lactating women and vegetarians. This is a expensive food but so concentrated that it can be combined with other grains for consumption. It can be consumed in soups, inflating like popcorn or bread, cakes, add in stews, etc.. 

  • Rice: From sweet taste, is one of the most consumed cereal world, does not cause allergies and is very digestive. Rich in minerals such as iron and magnesium, vitamin A and B vitamins (all these properties are lost when it is refined). A source of carbohydrate and reduced in fats. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine is from a neutral thermal nature, strengthens the spleen-pancreas, removes toxins and increases chi. There are many varieties of rice: Arborio, Carnaroli, short grain, long grain, basmati, pump, Thai... suitable for different recipes and special flavors and textures. In cases of diarrhea and gastroenteritis should follow an astringent and low fiber diet, then it is recommended white rice that gives us its healing and astringent properties.

Kamut Udon noodles. Photography by SweetOnVeg - Creative Commons License

  • Oats: sweet and slightly bitter taste, has a high energy value and high in fiber and minerals, contains B vitamins and traces of vitamin D among others. It is one of the richest silicon foods. It is particularly beneficial for the nervous system. For its high fiber content is highly recommended for cases of constipation. It is also recommended in slimming diets because it reduces cholesterol and for its diuretic properties. It is also very interesting for diabetics because it promotes pancreatic activity. There are different forms of presentation for consumption: grain (boil in water or milk), flaked (to take as breakfast cereals) and oat bran (which can take sprinkled on soups, salads, juice or a in a yoghurt, for example). The oats water is used as an antiseptic and supports the immune system, can be prepared simmering 2 tablespoons oats, from 30 minutes to 2 hours, strain the resulting water and take hot or warm. It is also used in the preparation of pastries and desserts and other matters are attributed many properties as a poultice and is cosmetically useful in healing and beautifying the skin. 

  • Barley: sweet and salty taste, is a cereal with many nutritional and healing properties: tonic, digestive, hypertensive, hepatic activator. It is recommended in growth phases and whenever there is a need to strengthen the organism: demineralization, hypotension, pulmonary diseases, diarrhea, fevers. It also helps in cases of painful urination, difficulty urinating, helps to reduce inflammation, edema and tumors. It comes in various forms: barley groats (clean shell, boiled 30 minutes and a nutritious and laxative tea is taken), pearled barley (devoid of bark and polished, is used to make baby food), meal (raw meal) flakes and malt (used roasted as a coffee substitute). In addition to germinate produces a type of enzyme which is used for brewing. 

  • Rye: From bitter taste. Its properties include its high content of fiber, minerals and B vitamins. It helps in the formation of muscles and also helps to build strength and endurance, intervening in the formation of nails, bones and hair. We also know that it helps in fluidity of blood, so their intake is recommended in cases of arteriosclerosis, hypertension and sedentary lifestyle. Very special are breads made ​​with rye flour, for its acidity and natural bitter flavor that makes it very suitable for the liver. Another way for its consumption would be boiled  (30 grams per liter of water), the resulting juice is a good laxative. It is also used for the preparation of alcoholic beverages and animal feed.

Rye bread. Photography by Poppet with a Camera - Creative Commons License

  • Spelt: Pleasant tasting and easily digestible. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine spelt has a heat thermal nature. It is rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals. It is a variety of wheat that has become very popular because it is often tolerated by people with celiac disease. Having a very thick shell is well protected against insects and pollutants, it is unusually fumigated so it is very likely to be ecological with the benefits this brings to our body when we eat. You can cook it as a grain, such as rice, flour and as will serve to prepare bread, cakes and pasta to boil. 

  • Kamut: an ancient variety of wheat, much tastier, with a finer texture and less allergenic. It almost lost his crop as it is less productive than hybrid wheat currently grown in large areas, but eventually it has been recovered. The grain is twice as large than common wheat. It is great for making cakes and pastries of all kinds. 

  • Maize, corn: that cereal is a staple in the diets of many cultures. It is rich in fiber, carbohydrates, carotene and vitamins A and E. It is diuretic and thyroid regulator. It is nutritious and restorative but for a complete nutrition is preferable to combine their consumption with that of other cereal flours, since in its composition lacks niacin and that deficiency can cause pellagra. There are many varieties of corn: sweet corn (canned or eaten roast), crystalline corn (for flour) and popcorn. Currently the cultivation of GM maize is widespread so if we want to ensure a healthy consumer must opt ​​for an ecological farming corn

  • Millet: neutral flavor, is a cereal rich in vitamin A, fats, starch, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. It is considered a good diuretic and in turn fortifying the kidneys, is alkaline, rich in protein and silicon, also considered antifungal, especially useful in cases of Candidiasis. Another particular property of this cereal is reducing morning sickness of pregnancy. Consumed steamed, mixed with vegetables on a plate, or stew with vegetables, you can also use its flour to make bread, cookies, etc.. 

  • Muesli: mixed ofh whole grains with fruits, nuts, can also carry chocolate and some seeds.

Muesli. Photography by Musicfanatic29 - Creative Commons License

  • Quinoa: a pseudocereal, neutral flavor. With a high nutritional value, it is a great protein provider. It has no gluten so it is especially recommended for people with allergies to wheat gluten. It is used boiled as rice and you can let cool and mix it in a salad or cook in a stir fry of vegetables. It also comes in the form of flour for use in breads, cakes, cookies... 

  • Wheat: From sweet and salty taste, is the most cultivated cereal in the world. It is highly nutritious, rich in protein, carbohydrates, minerals and fiber. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, wheat strengthens the heart-mind, calms and focuses the mind, strengthens the kidneys and builds the yin. You can take the grain boiled, germinated, as well, in addition to its presentation in flour to make all kinds of breads and pastries and soups as grits. Currently more and more people are showing allergy to wheat products, it is believed that a likely cause of these allergies are genetic alterations to being subjected to wheat to be more resistant.

  • Bulgur wheat: This is a presentation of wheat after boiled wheat grains, let them dry and then grind. 

  • Buckwheat: it is a highly nutritious cereal, contains many minerals, proteins, fats. Cleans and strengthens the intestines and is particularly used for the treatment of chronic diarrhea. For its consumption it is used as grain or flour. It is used to make cookies and crepes, soups and purees. It is widely used in macrobiotic cooking. Can also be used externally as a poultice made ​​from roasted buckwheat flour mixed with vinegar to enhance skin rashes, inflammation and burns. 

Article written by Shauri.