Most people follow a simple structure for creating their meals. Start with a base protein, typically a type of meat, and add various vegetable or grain-based side dishes to create a “balanced meal.” Many don’t understand there’s a significant difference between simple, refined carbs, like white breads and pastas, and complex carbohydrates, like quinoa and raw oats. As a healthcare leader, part of your job is making sure your patients understand these important differences to ensure they’re able to make the best decisions at home when it comes to preparing meals for themselves and their families. After all, by teaching your patients good nutritional habits they can use at home, you’re securing a path to a healthier future for everyone. Below are five particularly important whole grains to keep your patients healthy, and help them get a taste of a better life!
Amaranth is a fantastic gluten-free whole grain that can be used in a number of different ways, from popped like popcorn and cooked like orzo, to being ground into flour and used for various baked goods. This versatile grain is an excellent source of magnesium, zinc, and iron, and is even considered a complete protein, thanks to its composition of all the essential amino acids humans need – in proper proportion. Unlike other grains, amaranth even offers lysine, an important amino acid that the human body cannot synthesize naturally.
Barley contains much needed beta-glucan soluble fiber that helps the body maintain stable blood sugar, and subsequent energy levels throughout the day, by effectively slowing down the rate of glucose absorption. It also contains significant traces of the renowned antioxidant selenium, and can be used in everything from soups to hot cereals!
Another container of the powerful cholesterol lowering, immune system strengthening beta-glucan fiber is oats. Used for oatmeal, cookies, toppings, and even as a binder for raw meat, oats offer various antioxidant properties thanks to its polyphenol compounds.
Similar to amaranth, all essential amino acids necessary to the body can be found in proper portions in the gluten-free whole grain known as quinoa. Also like amaranth, quinoa is also a good source of magnesium, zinc, and iron, and even contains high concentrations of folate. Quinoa is an especially popular grain, thanks to its diversity of flavors and colors, as well as its ability to liven up any entrée or side dish.
Comparable to quinoa and amaranth, teff is a gluten-free grain that’s a great source of protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, and thiamin (a B vitamin). It’s adored worldwide thanks to its uniquely nutty flavor, and can be used to make traditional Ethiopian flat breads, polenta, creamy hot cereals, or mixed with vegetables for a tasty side dish.
For more ways to help your patients experience greater nutrition and care satisfaction, we encourage you to learn more about our innovative foodservice software and technologies at Vision Software. Call 629.777.8989, or fill in the free consultation form in the sidebar, to learn more about how our software can positively impact the lives of the patients and visitors you service every day.