SUPERFOODS are foods that have a myriad of health benefits.
While you may have heard of some, such as green leafy vegetables and green tea, you may not have heard of farro – an ancient grain still used today around the world.
It features in a number of dishes and you may have been eating it without knowing it.
The versatile grain is often mixed into salads, soups, and stews and looks similar to couscous or barley.
Farro may have as many health benefits as it is rich in goodness, including weight loss, skin health, and protection against several diseases.
The term “superfood” is a relatively new term, used to describe foods that are extremely healthy.
But farro isn’t new — it’s been cultivated in the Middle East and the Mediterranean for thousands of years.
However, over time, it fell out of favor as modern wheat has grown in abundance.
The types of wheat we are used to — such as whole wheat bread, which makes up bread, pasta, and crackers — have been highly processed compared to ancient grains, so many of the good ingredients have been removed.
There are three types of farro: emmer, einkorn and spelled – the latter can be found in English health shops.
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One of the easiest ways to reap the benefits is to buy spelled pasta or flour, available at most supermarkets.
A number of factors make farro useful for losing or managing weight.
A quarter cup (47g) of the stuff has 170 calories but 6g of protein and 5g of fiber, according to Healthline.
In comparison, white rice has about 150 calories, but contains only 3g of protein and almost no fiber.
Government guidelines say we should eat around 30g of fiber a day, but most adults only eat about 20g a day on average.
Protein and fiber have been shown to help with weight loss because they fill your stomach without adding calories.
Feelings of fullness – which also releases hormones to tell us to stop eating – can prevent overeating.
Prevent against disease
There is strong evidence that a diet rich in fiber can lower the risk of:
While there’s no research to prove farro will ward off the disease that’s rife in the UK, it’s one way to increase the fiber in your diet with a simple swap.
What’s more, farro is a good source of antioxidants and polyphenols, both of which are thought to play a role in protecting against heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and some types of cancer.
Hair and skin
Hair and skin are nourished by B vitamins – and you guessed it, farro is rich in these vitamins, especially vitamin B3.
While no studies have directly linked vitamin B3 (or farro) to hair growth, it does improve blood circulation which may help promote hair growth. in the follicle.
Niacinamide – a type of B3 – is abundant in skincare products.
It helps the skin build a barrier, reduces inflammation and pores and a number of other skin woes.
The B vitamins in farro also make it a useful staple in a vegetarian diet, where people are sometimes deficient in the B vitamins that come from meat products.
What are the best superfoods?
Superfoods can make getting nutrients in your diet easier. They have a number of health qualities.
Harvard Health lists the top superfoods:
Berries. High in fiber, berries are naturally sweet, and their rich color means they’re high in antioxidants and disease-fighting nutrients.
Fish. Fish can be a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent heart disease.
Green vegetable. Dark green leafy vegetables are good sources of vitamin A, vitamin C and calcium, as well as several phytochemicals (chemicals made by plants that have positive effects on your health). They also add fiber to the diet.
Crazy. Hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans — nuts are good sources of plant-based protein. They also contain monounsaturated fat, which may be a factor in reducing the risk of heart disease.
Olive oil. Olive oil is a good source of vitamin E, polyphenols and monounsaturated fatty acids, all of which help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Whole grains. A good source of soluble and insoluble fiber, whole grains also contain several B vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. They have been shown to lower cholesterol and protect against heart disease and diabetes.
Yogurt. A good source of calcium and protein, yogurt also contains live cultures called probiotics. These “good bacteria” can protect the body from other, more harmful bacteria.
Cruciferous vegetables. These include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, and radishes. They are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins and phytochemicals including indoles, thiocyanates and nitriles, which may prevent certain types of cancer.
Nuts. This broad category includes kidney, black, red, and garbanzo beans, as well as soybeans and peas. Legumes are an excellent source of fiber, folate and plant protein. Studies show they can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Tomato. It is high in vitamin C and lycopene, which have been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
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