We All Know Whole Grains Are Good for You, but These 11 Are the Healthiest
Grains are an essential part of a healthy diet—they're a plant food that provides us with essential vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates that fuel our muscles and brain with energy and more.
But not all grains are created equal. There are whole grains (those that still contain the bran, germ, and endosperm) and refined grains (in which the bran and germ have been removed, leaving just the high-carb endosperm behind). Before we jump into which types of grains are the best for your body, let's quickly define what they are.
Simply stated, grains are hard, edible dry seeds that grow on grass-like plants called cereals. Cereal grains are the single biggest source of food energy in the world. While refined grains—white rice, fluffy white bread, sugary breakfast cereals, and so on—provide almost no health benefits to your body, whole grains tend to be high in many nutrients, like fiber, magnesium, iron, B vitamins, phytonutrients, and more. However, there is quite a bit of discrepancy in the health benefits of various whole grains. Some (like corn or rice) are still lacking in nutrient density—even in whole form—compared to others, such as oats and barley.
Here are the 11 healthiest grains to eat, according to nutrition expert Malena Perdomo, MS, RDN, CDE.