Healthy Winter Grains We Should All Eat

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Commonly used in oatmeal, flour, and dairy alternatives such as milk, yogurt, ice cream
High protein and antioxidant contents
Introduced to North America in 1602 by Scottish Settlers
Help to reduce cholesterol, blood sugar
Increases growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract
Used to soothe skin conditions such as eczema and heat rashes
Typically grown in the Midwest and other northern regions
There are two kinds of oats – husked and naked
Oat straw is used by farmers as bedding for cattle and horses due to its soft nature
Involved in industrial purposes such as glue extender and cosmetic products
Farmers use a combine harvester to harvest the grains, which are then stored in silos

Winter Barley

One of the most cultivated crops in the world
Barley is resistant to drought, germinates quickly and has short growing season
Contains 8 essential amino acids, vitamins of the B group, and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc
Has high nutritional value which is important in human diet
Greatest quantity of produced barely is used as animal food
Barley is used for malt production and the manufacture of vinegar
Ancient Egyptians used barley to produce bread
Barley straw can be placed in mesh bags and float in fishponds to reduce algal growth without pond harm


Wheat is used for white bread, pastries, pasta, and pizza
Good source of manganese, phosphorus, and selenium
Rich in vitamin B, vitamin E, and vitamin K
Low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium
Principal cereal crop since the 18th century
Introduced by the first English colonists and became the main cash crop of farmers
Wheat is the primary grain used in U.S. grain products
Grown in 42 states in the United States
There are 6 varieties of wheat – hard red winter, hard red spring, soft red winter, hard white, soft white, and durum

Cereal Rye

Good source of fiber, vitamin E, calcium, iron, and potassium
Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, breast cancer, and diabetes
Carb-rich grain which helps to make you feel full
Incorporated in many baked goods, crackers, and breads
Once known as “poverty grain” because it grows well in poor soils
Rye is used as a winter cover crop to capture nutrients and enhance soil health
Russia is the biggest producer and consumer of rye
Most often gets processed into flour for bread or fed to livestock
Whole rye berries can be boiled and consumed, which provide a sweet and nutty taste


Quinoa seeds are flat, oval, and usually pale yellow, and taste varies from bitter to sweet
Has a crunchy and nutty flavor and is gluten-free
Consists of high amounts of water, and carbohydrates and low in protein and fat
Reduces risk of obesity and various diseases and diabetes
Excellent source of fiber and antioxidants
Contains several minerals including manganese, phosphorus, copper, folate, and iron
Quinoa helps with metabolism, growth, and development
Usually boiled and added to salads, used to thicken soups, or eaten as a side dish or breakfast porridge
Seeds can be sprouted, ground, and used as flour or popped like popcorn