Fifteen per cent of Australian households contain someone who is intolerant, avoiding or limiting gluten and many others are choosing to eat gluten-free products because they simply make them feel better and have feelings of more energy. Almost two thirds (64 per cent) of those choosing to eat gluten-free products do so because some else in their household requires or chooses it. With more and more Australians going gluten free, Orgran Health & Nutrition director Frank Buontempo says it’s more important than ever to examine your diet to ensure you are consuming sufficient amounts of key nutrients.
“Going gluten free is no longer just something limited to coeliacs or those with food intolerances,” Frank says. “Many people seeking a healthier diet are going gluten free and enjoying the greater nutritional variation and benefits. Switching to a gluten-free diet often opens up a whole world of delicious and healthy food choices and with a greater variety of foods available, a gluten-free diet has never been more accessible.
“Entire cultures thrived for thousands of years without growing or consuming any of the gluten grains (wheat, barley, rye and oats) so it’s safe to say there are more than adequate sources of these nutrients in alternative grains,” he says. “Choosing an alternative grain that is rich in vitamins and nutrients will guarantee a healthy, balanced diet.”
Here, Frank shares some of the health benefits of popular alternative grains
Highly valued for its nutritional benefits, buckwheat is not related to wheat in any way (it actually belongs to the rhubarb family of plants!). It is known to have the best source of high biological proteins in the plant kingdom. It provides a rich source of vitamins B1 and B2, potassium, iron and rutin and is known to help reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Diets containing buckwheat have been linked to improved blood sugar control, therefore reducing the risk of diabetes and discouraging obesity. It also contains magnesium which relaxes blood vessels and improves blood flow.
Quinoa is a complete protein meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. A species of goosefoot grown primarily for its edible seeds, quinoa originated in the Andean region of South America. Quinoa aids digestions, regulates blood sugar, keeps your heart healthy and is a great source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.
These tiny seeds are high in protein and fibre and are the richest source of omega-3 fats of any plant. Chia seeds are a great source of iron, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins which will naturally boost energy levels and health. They promote a healthy heart, brain function and nervous system. They are rich in antioxidants which can help protect the body from ageing.
Specialising in natural, alternative grain products for better health and wellbeing, Orgran is a pioneer and trusted brand for coeliacs and food allergy sufferers. Over the past 30 years, the Orgran range has grown to be the biggest in Australia. The range includes alternative grain pasta, baking mixes, crispbreads, biscuits and breakfast cereals. With a selection of more than 80 products and exporting to 55 countries worldwide, Orgran has become the trusted name in natural foods for families around the world. The Orgran manufacturing facility is free from gluten, wheat, eggs, dairy, nuts, tree nuts, soy, lupin and yeast.