Top 8 Gluten-Free Grains

If you are on a gluten-free diet, there are several naturally gluten-free whole grains that offer many health benefits and fun flavors! Here are the top eight Arrowhead Mills gluten-free grains you will want to add to your diet.

Amaranth

Amaranth is a nutritious ancient grain you should add to your whole grain line-up. It is rich in protein, fiber, and antioxidants, and a good source of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.

Quinoa

Quinoa is a pseudocereal that is rich in nutrients such as folate, magnesium, zinc, and iron. It is also high in fiber and is an excellent source of protein which both play an important role in helping you feel full and satisfied. 

Arrowhead Mills Organic Quinoa

Steel Cut Oats

Steel cut oats are one of the least processed oat varieties. They contain slightly more fiber than other oat varieties. Steel cut oats in particular are rich in resistant starch which digests and absorbs more slowly than other carbs, hence keeping blood sugar levels more stable.

Yellow Popcorn

Popcorn is a delicious snack, and when prepared the correct way, it can be great for you as well. It is low in calories and a great source of fiber, which helps you feel full and keeps your digestive tract in check.

Arrowhead Mills Organic Yellow Popcorn

Yellow Cornmeal

Cornmeal is made by grinding corn kernels into a coarse powder and can be used to create polenta, grits, tortillas, and other baked goods. It is particularly rich in iron and phosphorus.

Buckwheat

Buckwheat is a nutty pseudocereal that has anti-inflammatory properties. It is also rich in magnesium, an essential mineral that is involved in many important metabolic functions in the body.

Puffed Brown Rice

Brown rice is the whole rice kernel and higher in fiber and minerals than white rice. Brown rice is also rich in manganese, selenium, and magnesium. Puffed brown rice makes a great alternative to low-fiber, high-sugar cereals.

Millet 

Millet is an ancient grain that is loaded with healthy nutrients and easy to prepare. A staple in many diets around the world, millet is high in protein and fiber, and is particularly known for its rich magnesium content.

Arrowhead Mills Puffed Millet Cereal

Mix up your gluten-free grain line-up with all of these grains, and reap the amazing health benefits.

Why Choose Organic? A History of Organic Farming

To understand why organic is a better choice, we must turn back the clock and understand the context of modern food production.

Industrial revolution meets the food industry

It was the industrial revolution, a manufacturing mega overhaul, an era that charted a course of progress throughout history. No longer were horses, canals, and rivers the main mode of transportation, the mechanized factory system had begun. The invention of steam meant goods could not only travel farther but we could transport more faster. Industry meant factories, warehouses, and streamlined innovation.

The population boomed and so did consumerism. Goods that were once only obtainable by select classes of society could now be accessed by many. It truly was a revolution. Unfortunately, with every Wiley Coyote brainiac idea is an anvil awaiting its untimely arrival. What began as era of innovation, pride and opportunity broke down. Making something faster inevitably meant making something cheaper. 

What started out as seemingly honest mission of progress, soon became the industry of shortcuts.

You see, when farmers left their fields to join the factories and became part of industrialized manufacturing warehouses something changed. No longer was there a tender handed connection that met farmer and consumer. Those same generational fields handed down through time were now owned and ran by industry titans. The mystical shrouded layers of the curtain separating consumer and product laid untouched for a few generations, that is until another modulation pulled it back.

The technological revolution has come along way and evolved many-a-time over. Sure, just as the industrial revolution had its peaks and valleys, so did tech. If the first factories and warehouse focus was consumption of goods, then it is easy to state that this revolution has served up the unquenchable quest for the consumption of knowledge.

We want to know where our food comes from

Each of these radical periods of time brought together classes in addition to nurturing diversity. This age of thread based information had us following a strand to a forgotten question. Where does our food come from? The microscope of curiosity on the food industry had us witness a long awaited overhaul. No longer were we victims to fancy packaging and commercially targeted ads. People had questions and they wanted answers.

The Nutrition Facts Label became mandated in 1990 with the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act. This allowed the consumer the access to the nutritional breakdown of a product. This limited label has seen only minute changes since its implementation in 1994 with trans-unsaturated fatty acid (trans fat) added to it in the early 2000’s.

The first shift in the wave of change hit. Suddenly products flooded the market with labels advertising “no trans fats”.  According to the USDA Economic Research Service, “results suggest that mandatory disclosure of ingredients that have the potential to cause harm to human health can lead to food manufacturers to reformulate their products to make them healthier.”

Organic in a modern era

As social media made its boom, so again did the food industry alter. New information was available as fast as it could be consumed. It seemed as much as we desired to connect with people and friends long forgotten, we also were connecting to former methods of thought. The 1970s brought forward environmental awareness and the overdue call for an organic industry.

This, as with most beginnings, was met with struggle, paperwork and a whole lot of hurdles. Certification would need to be defined, production would need to be monitored and standards would need to be set. After years and decades of work a final format was achieved and implemented in late 2002. It would be a while until this label “organic” would spike another revolution.

As with most things, less is arguably more. The food industry was no exception to this rule. As trendy restaurants that took moms old recipes and made them into chic exquisite destination restaurants deconstructing them into their simplest form, so too did our palates and bodies crave this simplicity. We not only wanted to know how our food was made, but how it was grown. The organic revolution had begun.

Why Should You Be Eating Whole Grains?

Those of us old enough to remember commercials can picture the scene clearly. It’s a beautiful weekend morning, the children are gathered around the table. In walks mom smiling, she opens the cupboard to reveal (insert angelic choir here) the whole grain cereal. The children rejoice! They are happy because it’s Saturday AND their beloved cereal is delicious and mom is happy too. But why? Because mom knows that Whole Grain is exactly what her growing children need!

The knowledge is known, “mom” made that pretty clear, whole grains are good for you. But do you know why? Lucky for you and so many others we at Arrowhead Mills once asked that same question and found out some awesome information that we can assure you even “mom” didn’t know.

Arrowhead Mills Organic Steel Cut Oats are a whole grain.

What is a Whole Grain?

 Whole Grain is used to refer to the entire seed comprised of three parts: the bran, the germ and the endosperm. The bran is the fiber filled outer skin of the seed that contains antioxidants and B vitamins. The germ refers to germination, this is the part of the seed that sprouts into a plant. This part of the seed is full of protein, minerals, unsaturated fats as well as B vitamins. Lastly, is the endosperm which is mostly made up of carbohydrates and protein. If the seed were to in fact sprout, this would provide the initial nutrients and fuel needed to do so.

Why Whole Grains?

While whole grains are loaded with beneficial fibers, energy rich carbohydrates, minerals, b vitamins, selenium, magnesium, Vitamin E and iron to name a few, their counterparts, commercialized grains, not only are refined, but are also missing many of these beneficial nutrients. The process of commercialization usually involves removing either the hull or germ, in some cases both. In so doing this process does leave behind some of the proteins and carbohydrates. Unfortunately, the results are a full feeling without truly feeding the body as a whole… enter in whole grain for the win!

Arrowhead Mills Organic Yellow Popcorn is a tasty source of whole grain nutrients.

Studies confirm the long term switch to whole grains offer real lasting health benefits. We are not referring to anything trivial either, we are talking about: reducing rates of chronic disease, weight management, slowing the progression of heart disease, lowering cardiovascular risk, lowered blood pressure, and decreased overall inflammation. With so many health benefits at stake, it’s hard to find a reason not to make the switch.

With many whole grains offering these amazing benefits and the technological age booming at our fingers offering tricks, tips and recipes galore— good health is quite literally in your hands! Arrowhead Mills is happy to offer many whole grains like Quinoa, Bulgur, Rye, Millet, Amaranth and Barley just to name a few. Check out our website for recipes including many of these whole grains for your daily use. The only thing left really is … *adds to cart*

Top Reasons to Add Lentils to Your Diet

If you aren’t incorporating lentils into your weekly meal plan, it’s time to rethink your menu. While lentils are often synonymous with plant-based diets, they are a versatile and nutrient-packed ingredient that is appropriate for kids, adults, vegans, and meat-eaters alike. Protein, fiber, iron, and carbohydrates are just some of the nutrients found in lentils. So, when asked if lentils are good for you, the answer is, absolutely YES!

Lentils are a source of protein and iron

Lentils are often a staple in vegetarians and vegan diets because they are a concentrated source of protein and iron. These two nutrients are often under consumed by those following plant-based diets. However, these nutrients are also valuable for those who eat animal-based foods. Protein serves many functions in the body, including aiding in muscle repair and growth, and fluid balance. Iron is essential for blood health and oxygen delivery throughout the body. 

Lentils are also a great source of fiber, a nutrient essential for healthy digestion that also increases satiety and may help lower blood cholesterol levels. Fiber is generally under consumed in the Western diet. Incorporating a half cup serving of lentils can get you as many as 8 grams of fiber!

Lentils contain nutritious complex carbohydrates

Related to fiber, lentils also contain high-quality carbohydrates. This nutrient is essential to the functioning of your brain and nervous system. It is also the primary form of energy your body uses during higher intensity exercise. With many processed, low-quality carb sources found in the typical American diet, lentils are actually one of the best source of carbohydrate because of their fiber content and minimal processing.

Lentils are easy to cook

In addition to being nutrient-rich, lentils are also incredibly versatile and easy to prepare. Lentils cook easily in boiled water, often in half the time it takes to cook beans and grains, like rice. They can be enjoyed with a wide array of seasonings and sauces to meet your preferences.  Lentils are also a great food to cook in bulk and enjoy in a wide variety of dishes throughout the week. Use cooked lentils as a protein source in a salad or your favorite vegetable soup, or enjoy them as a side dish to accompany your next barbecue.

What is a Whole Grain?

When it comes to bread, pasta, crackers, and really anything made with flour, whole grain becomes an important term to understand. You may have even seen this phrase on the front of food packages and wondered how it is different from what you usually buy. Here is the low down on whole grain, and why you should be choosing it more often than not.

Whole grains are more common than you think

You are likely already eating a couple servings of whole grains every day! This category includes common foods like corn, oats, wheat, quinoa, and rice, amongst others. Whole grains are the seed of a plant. They are made up of three edible components: a bran, germ, and endosperm. The edible part is surrounded by an inedible husk that protects the seed. Before whole grains can be turned into edible products, the husk is removed while the edible components are kept intact. This is what makes these foods whole grains.

Whole grain pie dough made with Arrowhead Mills Organic Whole Wheat Flour
Whole grain pie dough made with Arrowhead Mills Organic Whole Wheat Flour

When these whole grains are refined, like you might see in white flour, the bran and germ are removed. The husk is also removed, leaving only the endosperm. Without the presence of the bran and germ, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals are lost from the seed. This makes it a much less nutrient-dense product than the minimally processed whole grain.

Arrowhead Mills Brown Organic Rice Flour and Organic Buckwheat Flour both contain whole grains
Arrowhead Mills Brown Organic Rice Flour and Organic Buckwheat Flour both contain whole grains.

Whole grains contain more natural nutrients than refined grains

While whole grains also undergo some processing to remove the husk, minimal refining occurs, keeping more valuable nutrients intact. This is why whole grains are encouraged as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet. They should be consumed in higher amounts than refined grain products. Even though refined products often have some nutrients added back after being processed, it is not always in the same amounts as what was lost. The body may not be able to absorb these nutrients as well as those naturally occurring in the food. 

Next time you are shopping for flour, cereal, bread, and other grain-based items, choose those made with whole grains. You can easily identify this by looking for products with the Whole Grain Stamp and browse ingredient lists looking for “whole”. For example, whole wheat, whole grain, and whole wheat oats are some ways you may see them listed.

Now that you know why whole grains are so important, why not browse Arrowhead Mills organic whole grain products?

Top 6 Grains for Blood Sugar Control 

Maintaining balanced blood sugar levels is important to avoiding long-term health issues, managing weight, and feeling good overall. There are countless lifestyle and diet choices that can help keep blood sugar in check and eating certain whole grains is one of them.

However, before you start eating all the whole grains, keep this in mind – carbs do raise blood sugar, especially when eaten alone. That is why I recommend eating fiber-rich grains and always pairing them with protein and healthy fat. The combination of fiber, protein, and fat slows down the digestion and absorption of carbs and keeps blood sugar levels more stable.

Here are six grains that not only are rich in fiber, but also contain nutrients that help balance blood sugar.

Quinoa

Quinoa is a superfood that is loaded with protein and magnesium making it an ideal preventative for diabetes. Protein slows the absorption of glucose into your cells, preventing blood sugar spikes after meals and stabilizing your blood sugar. Meanwhile, the magnesium helps regulate blood sugar levels and reduces sugar cravings.

Amaranth

Amaranth is an ancient grain that is naturally gluten-free and rich in protein and fiber which help to slow the spike of blood sugar. 

Buckwheat

In research buckwheat has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels because it’s so rich in magnesium, fiber, and D-chiro-inositol. D-chiro-inositol is a variant of the B vitamin inositol that promotes healthy glucose levels.

Arrowhead Mills Organic Buckwheat Flour

Kamut

Kamut contains many of the properties of whole wheat, but it’s much less allergenic. In research, when kamut was used instead of modern wheat, there was a decrease in fat mass and insulin and an increase in DHA.

Brown Rice

Brown rice is the whole rice kernel and high in fiber and minerals like magnesium, both of which help balance blood sugar. To make brown rice even more blood sugar friendly, cook it ahead of time and refrigerate. Reheat when you are ready to eat. This process turns the rice into a resistant starch which digests and absorbs more slowly than other carbs.

Millet

Millet is an ancient grain that is packed with protein and fiber which keep blood sugar steady, lower cholesterol, and help with weight management.

Arrowhead Mills Puffed Millet Cereal

10 Health Benefits of Buckwheat

If you’re looking for a delicious gluten-free grain, look no further than Arrowhead Mills Organic Buckwheat. Buckwheat is a wonderful substitute for many grains, and provides a rich, nutty flavor while packing a nutritious punch.

Despite what its name suggests, buckwheat is not a cereal or a wheat product. It is a fruit seed that comes from the buckwheat plant, however it is used like a grain because it is rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber.

Arrowhead Mills Organic Buckwheat Flour

Here are some of the amazing health benefits of buckwheat.

Blood Sugar Control

In research, there is evidence that buckwheat can help lower blood sugar levels because it’s so rich in magnesium, fiber, and D-chiro-inositol. D-chiro-inositol is a variant of the B vitamin inositol that promotes healthy glucose levels.

Heart Healthy

Studies on buckwheat suggest that an increased intake of buckwheat could lower risk factors of cardiovascular disease including glucose, total cholesterol and triglycerides. 

Prevents Cancer

The main antioxidant polyphenol in buckwheat is rutin, which may lower your risk of cancer and improve inflammation and blood pressure.

Rich in Protein

Buckwheat is a great source of plant-based protein with 3g of protein per ½-cup serving. Adequate protein helps with weight management, blood sugar balance, and so much more.

Improves Digestion 

Buckwheat is rich in fiber, which can aid digestion and prevent constipation. Fiber helps improve digestive function by allowing you to have regular bowel movements. 

Gluten Free

Since buckwheat is a pseudocereal, it is naturally gluten-free and makes a great option for those with celiac or those who follow a gluten-free diet.

Aids in Weight Loss

Consuming enough fiber is essential for successful weight loss. Buckwheat is rich in fiber, ​​especially insoluble fiber, which leads to greater satiety with fewer calories.

Supports a Healthy Blood Pressure

Eating buckwheat is associated with lower blood pressure levels and serum cholesterol levels. The flavonoids rutin and quercetin help maintain healthy blood flow, an important part in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.

Iron-Rich Food Source

Buckwheat is a great source of Iron, which is required to carry oxygen and other nutrients to all parts of the body.

Increases Energy

Since buckwheat’s is a rich source of magnesium and iron, it can help improve energy levels.

Try Arrowhead Mills Buckwheat Pancake Mix. It’s an easy and delicious breakfast loaded with health benefits!

Top 3 Reasons You Should be Eating Flaxseed Every Day

Flaxseed has been around for centuries. Furthermore–scientifically; there’s evidence it can help to lower your blood pressure, risk of certain cancers, diabetes, heart disease… the list goes on! Let’s dive into all the top reasons why you should add this plant-based superfood into your daily diet.

Reason 1: Flaxseed is a good source of fiber

Flaxseed contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Each of these are incredibly important for gut health and maintaining a healthy immune system. The soluble fiber draws water into your gut and helps to soften your stools & support regular bowel movements while the insoluble fiber adds bulk! It’s pretty awesome that flaxseed contains both types of fiber– making it perfect to supplement with daily. Kill two birds with one stone.

Reason 2: Flaxseeds are a source of antioxidants

Additionally, flaxseeds contain a multitude of cancer-fighting nutrients such as omega-3s, protein, fiber and B vitamins. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are especially important to eat because they help to fight inflammation. They promote brain & eye health and there is evidence they help to fight depression and anxiety. Talk about an all-in-one superfood!

Reason 3: Flaxseeds help our gut health

Flaxseed is commonly used for optimizing digestion, gut health, and constipation due to its high
fiber content. It can also help your metabolic health and aid in weight loss. Make sure to
increase your water intake–if you don’t drink enough water, your body won’t be able to digest
the excess fiber which can result in constipation and stomach cramps.

With all their health benefits, you’d be crazy not to add flaxseeds into your daily diet! Adding four tablespoons of flaxseed has been shown to aid in digestion, weight loss and all of the other great benefits we’ve just discussed… So what are you waiting for?

Here are 3 ways to add flaxseed into foods you already eat!

  • Smoothies: blend them into your morning smoothies to break them down so they’re digestible. Pair with some blueberries for even more health benefits!
  • Yogurt & Oatmeal: adding seeds to plain Greek yogurt can help you feel full for hours. It can be a staple weight-loss snack in your household. Oatmeal also contains complex carbohydrates. Paired with something as fibrous as flaxseed, this will also ensure satiety for a good part of your day!
  • Bread: we love a good loaf, but especially if there’s some healthy seeds like flaxseed or sunflower seeds. In our modern world, carbohydrates are deemed a “bad food”, but this is simply not true. The carbs you want to add to your protein-dense meals are what are called complex carbohydrates. They are healthy whole grains that take longer to break down, making it less likely to spike your blood sugar.

With all of this information, we hope you add Arrowhead Mills Organic Flax Seeds to as many meals as you can. Reap the benefits & feel good every day!

5 Health Benefits of Oat Flour

Oat flour is gaining in popularity due to its cholesterol lowering and anti-diabetic effects. Oat flour and oatmeal are no different in nutritional value because they are made up of the same initial ingredient.  That means oat flour contains the germ, bran, and endosperm which makes it rich in whole grains.  

Because of their powerful nutritious profile, it’s recommended to consume a serving of oats daily.  To be honest, I don’t feel like having oatmeal every day for breakfast, so oat flour provides another way to eat oats to support health. 

Health Benefits of Oats

1. Supports Healthy Weight: 

The recommended diet for weight loss is rich in dietary fiber. Oat flour is rich in fiber which is an incredible carbohydrate because it increases metabolism, triggers your CCK hormone that tells your brain you’re full, absorbs fat, and keeps bowels regular. Most Amercians don’t eat enough fiber, with the average only being at 10-15g per day while the USDA’s recommended daily amount for adults up to age 50 is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men.  Adding oat flour into your recipes can help you to meet your recommended daily fiber intake, which in turn helps with weight loss by preventing overeating.

2. Cholesterol Lowering

High cholesterol is a primary risk factor in heart disease, which is the number one cause of deaths in the United States. Oatmeal has been highlighted for its ability to lower cholesterol levels for years, but how does this happen? Oatmeal has Beta-Glucans which are a form of soluble fiber that help prevent the body from absorbing cholesterol from foods. There are two forms of b-glucans, insoluble and soluble, which are able to interact with biliary salts in the bowel and this results in reduced cholesterol levels.   

3. Can Help Control Blood Sugar

Research has found that consuming 100g of oats (½ cup) per day significantly improved hyperglycemia and reduced weight in those with type 2 diabetes.  

4. Heart Health

Due to oatmeal’s powerful support of healthy cholesterol levels, it also reduces heart disease!  

The FDA allows products containing at least 750mg of beta-glucans (those fibers that help to support lipid levels) to be labeled as heart healthy.  For best results buy oat flour that is made from organic rolled oats like Arrowhead Mills Organic Oat Flour

5. Nourishes Your Gut

Not only does the fiber in oats help with weight management, cholesterol, heart health, and blood sugar control, but it also nourishes your gut!  Oats are a prebiotic that help to feed probiotics. Think of prebiotics as the fuel for your probiotics!  They work together to support a healthy colony of bacteria. Having a healthy gut reduces the risk of excess inflammation, digestive disorders, and disease. The absolute best oats for your gut are Arrowhead Mills Organic Steel Cut Oats.

Stock up on your health supporting oats with Arrowhead Mill Organic Oat Flour, and Arrowhead Mills Organic Oat Bran Flakes.

5 Health Benefits of Millet

Millet is an ancient grain that provides many health benefits and can be used in a variety of ways when cooking.  As demand grows for more gluten-free options, millet has moved up to the 6th most popular cereal grain in the world!  Millet is rich in dietary fibers, antioxidants, phytochemicals and polyphenols which accounts for its growth in popularity in western cultures.

What is millet?

Millet doesn’t refer to a single type of grain, rather it refers to a small group of seeded grasses.  It was originally domesticated in Northern China in 6000 BC. In the United States, it is most commonly used to feed pets, livestock, and birds but for other regions like Asia and Africa, millet is a daily food staple. A major perk of millet is that it has a low carbon footprint since it can withstand high temperatures without much water. There are four different types of millet grown in the United States, foxtail, pearl, proso, and Japanese Barnyard. However, proso is the only type available for human consumption. 

Are there any risks?

One of the risks of millet is that it contains goitrogens. These are naturally occurring substances that can interact with the thyroid gland. Some other goitrogenic foods include brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, turnips, rutabaga, radishes, cabbage, kale, and cauliflower.  However, just because millet contains goitrogens doesn’t mean you should avoid consuming it.

One study showed that the chances of goiter were higher in those who had 75% of their calories coming from millet when compared with those who had 37% of their calories coming from millet.  If you suffer digestive issues or hypothyroidism, check with your Dietitian to see if it’s appropriate to include millet in your diet. Moderation is key to supporting a healthy thyroid, and lack of iodine still remains the main cause of thyroid dysfunction.

Health Benefits of Millet

1. Rich in Antioxidants

Millet contains phytochemicals like phenolic acids which are rich in antioxidants. They ward off damage to cells from free-radical oxidation reactions. 

2. May Help Control Blood Sugar 

Millet is a low glycemic index food meaning it raises your blood sugar slowly and gradually instead of spiking it. It’s rich in fiber and protein which work together to slow the absorption of glucose into the cells. 

3. May Help With Weight Loss: 

One study showed that when Millet is consumed for as little as 21 days up to 4 months there was a 7% reduction in BMI. This could be due to fiber and protein working together to help you feel more satiated during meals.  The blood sugar-balancing effects of millet can also help you to feel satisfied for longer periods between meals, preventing excess snacking. 

4. Lowers Triglyceride Levels and Increases HDL

Results from 19 studies showed that Millet helped to reduce levels of triglycerides, LDL, and VLDL by 9%. Four studies showed that millet helped to bring triglyceride levels down to <200 and <150mg/dl.  There was also a 6% increase in HDL.  

5. Supports a Gluten Free Diet

Millet is a nutritious grain that can support those who feel limited by a gluten-free diet. Processed gluten-free breads are often carbohydrate-dense and contain very little nutrition.  Ancient grains like millet are a great way to add nutrient-dense carbohydrates to your diet that will support your health. 

Excited to add more millet into your routine?  Stock up on Arrowhead Mills Puffed Millet Cereal and Arrowhead Mills Organic Gluten Free Millet Flour.

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