You might be eating different whole grains as a part of your everyday diet. There is a wide variety of whole grains for you to include in your diet plans like wheat, brown rice, oatmeal, etc. However, there is another category known as pseudograins that exhibits the characteristics of grains but are not actually grains. You might be already using them but may not be aware of the properties that make them stand apart from other grains. Therefore, we list some of the common pseudograins that can be a great addition to your vegan diet plans.
What Are Pseudograins?
Before knowing about pseudograins, you should be aware of grains. The grain is usually a member of the grass family that produces dry and edible fruits that are called grains, kernels, or berries.
On the contrary, pseudograins are non-grasses which have the same use of grains. Some of the common examples of pseudograins include quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat.
Whole grains are a typical ingredient of various diet plans. Pseudograins are also commonly used by a lot of people. Both whole grains and pseudograins can offer carbohydrates along with a large number of vitamins and minerals.
Pseudograins are almost similar to whole grains. We list some of the important pseudograins that are commonly available in the market.
It is a shared name that represents more than 60 different varieties of amaranthus. Most of these varieties are weeds, whereas, amaranth is considered a cereal. In some parts of the world, the stems, leaves, and roots of the amaranth plants are commonly used in various ethnic dishes. This pseudograin has a nutty flavor and goes well with other grains.
Amaranth is a great source of many vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. It contains a lot of micronutrients like phosphorous, calcium, iron, folic acid, vitamin C, etc. Amaranth has higher amounts of protein in comparison with many other grains.
This grain is rich in lysine, which is an amino acid that is difficult to find in plant-based foods. Hence, amaranth creates a great option to add to your vegan meal plans for getting this particular nutrient.
Amaranth is found to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help with diseases like arthritis. It has an abundance of essential oils that can help to lower cholesterol and hypertension. Additionally, the presence of manganese in amaranth might aid to control diabetes by reducing blood sugar levels.
This is another popular pseudograin that is an important part of people’s diet. Quinoa is a seed that is found in a flowering plant which is closely related to the spinach and amaranth families. During the processing of these seeds, the outer coat will be removed thereby taking away the bitterness.
Quinoa has a creamy, fluffy, and crunchy texture and a nutty flavor when cooked.
Quinoa is a great source of protein, as it contains all the nine amino acids. Hence, it is considered a complete protein source that can be useful to include in your vegan diet plans to acquire enough of this important nutrient. It also contains potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamin E along with powerful antioxidants.
Despite its similarity to wheat in the name, this pseudograin is actually closely related to sorrel and rhubarb. It can be suitable for people who cannot tolerate products made from wheat because of the presence of gluten, as this grain is gluten-free. Buckwheat is a very versatile ingredient, as it can be used to make a variety of foods from soba noodles to pancakes.
Buckwheat is high in phytonutrients and flavonoids that can act as antioxidants. It is also rich in many nutrients including manganese, protein, vitamins B and E, etc. The regular consumption of buckwheat can help to balance cholesterol levels and may help with promoting heart health. This pseudograin is shown to be effective for enhancing mood and improving mental clarity.
It is an aquatic seed that is found in freshwater lakes of some countries like Canada, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. It has a chewy texture and a rich, nutty flavor. Even though wild rice sounds like a variant of traditional rice, it is not directly related to rice.
Wild rice is a good sourced of B vitamins and lysine, which is an important amino acid. It has double the amount of protein than in your brown rice. The levels of folic acid are six times more than that of brown rice.
Wild rice also contains a large number of other nutrients including manganese, copper, fiber, omega-3 fats, vitamin E, etc.
Additionally, the high amounts of fiber present in this pseudograin can help to balance cholesterol levels and promote digestion.
Pseudograins are similar to your ordinary grains in their characteristics. They are rich in nutrients and many beneficial compounds. These plant-based foods can also help to prevent the risk of many diseases. Therefore, you can include them in your vegan diet plans for getting a wide array of health benefits.