14 Healthy Whole-Grain Foods (Including Gluten-Free Options)

Cereals are a staple food in households around the world.

They consist of three parts: bran (a nutrient-rich outer layer), germ (an embryo whose seeds are rich in nutrients), and endosperm (a food supply of germ, rich in starchy carbohydrates).

Whole grains are simply grains in which all three parts are intact. They're typically high in iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, B vitamins, and dietary fiber (1).

Interestingly, choosing whole grains over refined grains was associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and more (2 sources, 3 sources, 4 trusted sources, 5 trusted sources).

Here are 14 healthy whole grain foods.

1. Whole Oats

Oats are one of the healthiest whole grains you can eat.

Not only are they rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but they're also naturally gluten-free.

What's more, oats are rich in antioxidants, especially oat anthramine. This antioxidant has been linked to a reduced risk of colon cancer and lower blood pressure (6).

Oats are also a great source of β-glucan, a type of β soluble fiber that aids digestion and nutrient absorption. An analysis of 28 studies found that diets rich in β-glucan reduced "bad" LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol (7).

Just make sure to choose whole oats, such as steel-cut oats, hulled oats, and rolled oats. Other types of oats, such as instant rolled oats, may contain unhealthy added sugars when more processed.


               oats It is a healthy, nutrient-rich whole grain. And so are they β-Glucan, a type of soluble fiber associated with various health Advantage.\

2. Whole Wheat

Whole wheat is a popular and versatile grain.

It is a key ingredient in baked goods, pasta, noodles, couscous, dry wheat, and semolina.

Although wheat is very popular, it is also controversial due to its gluten content. Gluten is a protein that can trigger a harmful immune response in some people (8).

However, if you're among the majority of people who can tolerate gluten, whole grains are a great addition to your diet because they're rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber (1).

Pay attention to choose only foods labeled "whole wheat", not just "wheat".

Whole grain contains the whole grain, including the fibrous husk, bran, and endosperm. In contrast, regular wheat has the nutrient-rich husk and bran removed.


            all Wheat, a nutritious alternative to regular wheat, too Antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

3. Whole-Grain Rye

Rye is a member of the wheat family and has been consumed for centuries.

It is generally more nutritious than wheat, containing more minerals and fewer carbohydrates. This is one of the reasons why rye bread doesn't raise blood sugar as much as wheat (1, 9, 10).

Another reason is that rye flour is surprisingly high in fiber — a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving provides 22.6 grams of fiber, which is 90% of the adult daily value (DV) (9).

Studies have shown that dietary fiber can slow down the absorption of carbohydrates in the intestines, causing blood sugar to be slow but Blood sugar rises steadily, not spikes (11, 12).

Rye flour comes in many forms, such as light, medium, dark, rye flour, and naked wheat couscous. Both mild and moderate varieties are generally finer and are not considered whole grains, while rye flour, rye flour, and naked wheat flour are more likely to be whole grains.

That said, it's best to look for the word "whole" on rye flour when buying, as some manufacturers may add refined rye grain flour to the mixture.


            All Rye is a healthy whole-grain alternative to wheat. It comes in many forms, though Only rye flour, rye flour, and naked wheat flour are considered whole Grain.

4. Buckwheat

While its name may lie to you, buckwheat has nothing to do with wheat.

It is a pseudo-cereal, which means that it is a seed that is used in a similar way to cereals.

Buckwheat seeds are rich in nutrients such as manganese, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, iron, B vitamins, and fiber. They're also naturally gluten-free (13).

What's more, buckwheat husks are a great source of resistant starch, a type of dietary fiber that can enter the colon to feed healthy gut bacteria (14).

Studies show that resistant starch can improve blood sugar control and digestive health, as well as aid in weight loss and heart health (15, 16).

To boil buckwheat, simply add one cup of hulled (kernel) to two cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let the pieces simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender.


           buckwheat It is a gluten-free whole grain that is rich in nutrients. Also a nice one A source of resistant starch that nourishes your healthy gut bacteria.

5. Bulgur Wheat (Cracked Wheat)

Dry wheat, commonly known as cracked wheat, is popular in Middle Eastern cuisine.

This whole grain is often added to soups, stuffed vegetables, and salads like tabler salads. Its preparation is similar to rice, but its texture is more like couscous.

Dry wheat is low in fat and rich in minerals such as magnesium, manganese and iron. It's also a great source of fiber, providing 8.2g or 33% DV per cup of cooked coffee (182g).

Studies have shown that higher intake of milled dry wheat and other whole grains is associated with less inflammation and a lower risk of cancers such as heart disease and colorectal cancer (18, 19).

However, dry wheat contains gluten, making it not suitable for a gluten-free diet.


              Crushed dry wheat Or ground wheat, a popular, nutrient-dense whole grain used in the Middle East Delicacies. It is often added to soups, stuffed vegetables, and salads tabole salad.

6. Millet

Millet is an ancient grain that is perhaps best known as an ingredient in bird seeds.

However, it has been part of human cuisine for thousands of years and is considered a staple ingredient in India, China, Africa, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and other parts of the world.

Millet is highly nutritious and a great source of magnesium, manganese, zinc, potassium, iron, B vitamins, and fiber. It's also naturally gluten-free (20).

Studies have linked millet intake to health benefits, such as reduced inflammation, lower blood triglycerides, and improved glycemic control (21, 22).

Although it is considered a grain, millet is a grain that is classified as a pseudo-grain. Some consider it a whole-grain cereal because it is eaten in a similar way (23).


               Millet is an ancient seed that is classified as a pseudo-grain because it is in A method similar to grains. It is very nutritious and gluten-free.

7. Whole Barley

Barley is a versatile grain that has been consumed for thousands of years.

Although it's not as popular as other whole grains, it's very healthy.

Barley comes in two main forms: whole-grained (or hulled) barley and pearl barley. However, only hulled barley is considered a whole grain because it undergoes minimal processing.

Hulled barley is rich in minerals like selenium, manganese, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as B vitamins and fiber (24).

One cup (148 grams) of whole-grain barley flour provides 14.9 grams of fiber, or 60% of adult DV (25).

It is worth noting that barley contains gluten, so it is not suitable for a gluten-free diet.


              All Barley is a healthy whole grain that has been used for thousands of years. Only Whole (hulled) barley is considered whole grain, while pearl barley is considered Refined.

8. Spelt

Spelt is an ancient whole wheat that has been cultivated for thousands of years.

In terms of nutrition, Spelt wheat is similar to modern whole wheat, rich in manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, B vitamins, and fiber. However, it contains more zinc and protein than whole grains (26).

Like all other grains, Spelt contains antinutrients such as phytic acid, which reduces the absorption of zinc and iron in the intestines. This is not a big problem for adults on a balanced diet, as other foods provide more zinc and iron, but can be a problem for vegetarians and vegans.

Fortunately, you can reduce antinutrients by sprouting them, fermenting them, or soaking them.

It's also important to note that spelting contains gluten, making it not suitable for a gluten-free diet.


Spelling is a nutrient-dense, ancient whole grain that is growing in popularity. Although it Contains antinutrients such as phytic acid, which can be reduced by germination, Ferment or soak grains.

9. Quinoa

Quinoa is a South American grain known as a superfood.

This ancient grain contains more vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fats, and fiber than popular grains like whole grains, oats, and more.

Quinoa is also a great source of antioxidants, such as quercetin and kaempferol, which neutralize potentially harmful molecules called free radicals. These molecules are associated with chronic diseases such as chronic inflammation, heart disease, and cancer (27, 28).

What's more, quinoa is one of the few plants that provides complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. This makes it a great choice for vegetarians and vegans.

Although people use quinoa like a grain, it's actually a pseudo-grain — a seed that is nutritionally similar and eaten in a similar way to a grain (29).


               Quinoa It is often referred to as a superfood because it is rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Although it is considered a grain, it is actually a pseudo-cereal — Seeds that are consumed in a similar way to grains.

10. Brown Rice

Brown rice is widely considered a healthier alternative to white rice.

That's because it's whole grain, which means it contains the whole grain, including the bran, germ, and endosperm. At the same time, the bran and germ of the white rice are removed.

Because bran and germ are nutritious, brown rice contains more fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants — 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of cooked brown rice contains 1.8 grams of fiber, while 3.5 ounces of white rice provides only 0.6 grams of fiber (30, 31).

Brown rice is also naturally gluten-free, making it an excellent carb choice for a gluten-free diet.

Research has linked several compounds in this grain to some impressive health benefits.

For example, brown rice contains lignans, which are antioxidants that reduce heart disease risk by lowering blood pressure, inflammation, and "bad" LDL cholesterol (32).


                   Brown Rice is a healthier alternative to white rice because it contains whole grains. In contrast, white rice has the bran and germ removed, which is reduced Nutritious. Brown rice can reduce the risk of heart disease in several ways.

11. Corn

Corn or maize (Zea mays) is a very popular whole grain.

It is a staple food around the world, grown in more quantities than wheat and rice.

Unprocessed, whole corn is rich in manganese, magnesium, zinc, copper, phosphorus, potassium, B vitamins, and antioxidants. It's also naturally gluten-free (33).

Corn contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which are abundant antioxidants in yellow corn. Some studies have found a link between these antioxidants and a lower risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, the two main causes of blindness (34 trusted sources, 35 trusted sources).

What's more, corn contains a lot of fiber. One cup (164 grams) of boiled yellow corn provides 4.6 grams of fiber, which is 18% of DV (33).


               All Unprocessed corn is very nutritious and rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Two antioxidants of interest are lutein and zeaxanthin, which they have Associated with a reduced risk of certain eye diseases that may result Blindness.

12. Popcorn

Popcorn is one of the healthiest snack foods you can eat.

This is a special kind of corn that will burst at high temperatures. Corn kernels contain a small amount of water, which, when heated, turns to steam and causes the corn kernels to burst(36)。 

Most people don't realize that popcorn is a whole grain food. It's rich in important nutrients like manganese, magnesium, zinc, copper, phosphorus, and many B vitamins (37).

What's more, popcorn is incredibly high in fiber — 3.5 ounces (100 grams) provides 14.5 grams of fiber, or 58% of DV (37).

It is best prepared on your stove or in an air fryer. Avoid buying pre-packaged popcorn microwave bags as they may contain potentially harmful chemicals (38 Trusted Source, 39 Trusted Source).

In addition, some commercially prepared varieties may contain a lot of unhealthy fats, salt, artificial flavors, or sugar, making this healthy snack something very unhealthy.


               popcorn It is a healthy snack that is considered a whole grain. Preferably homemade Stove or air popcorn, as commercial popcorn is generally less healthy Ingredient.

13. Whole-Grain Breads

Whole wheat bread products are an easy way to add whole grains to your diet.

They can be found everywhere and come in a wide variety such as rye bread, whole wheat bread rolls, whole wheat bagels, whole wheat tortillas, etc.

One particularly healthy whole-grain bread is Ezekiel bread, which is made from a variety of whole grains, such as wheat, millet, barley, and spelt, as well as several legumes.

What's more, the grains and legumes in this bread are sprouted, meaning they have been soaked in water to allow them to germinate. This increases their nutrient content and reduces the antinutrients commonly found in whole grains (40).

One thing to note is that many whole wheat breads are made from crushed wheat, which can weaken the beneficial effects of whole wheat. So if buying whole wheat bread, it is better to choose one with visible grains or seeds.


              Whole wheat Bread products are an easy way to add whole grains to your diet. Must Choose bread with visible grains or seeds as they are more nutritious.

14. Whole-Grain and Whole-Wheat Pastas

Whole wheat pasta is made from whole grain of wheat

.That's why they contain more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than regular pasta. For example, whole-wheat pasta has 2.5 times more fiber than regular pasta (41, 42).

Whole-wheat pasta tends to be fuller due to its higher fiber content (43, 44).

However, they are made from crushed whole wheat flour.

This weakens many of the beneficial effects of whole grains, which means that whole wheat pasta is not as healthy as whole whole grain foods like quinoa and brown rice.

Still, if you choose to eat pasta, it's better to choose whole-wheat pasta over regular pasta, as the former contains fewer calories, more nutrients, and more filling fiber.


               Whole wheat Pasta is another easy way to add whole grains to your diet. They have more Richer in fiber than regular pasta, it can help you stay full longer.

The Bottom Line

Whole grains are minimally processed and therefore more nutritious than refined grains.

Replacing refined grains with whole grains has been linked to several health benefits, such as a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and more.

Luckily, there are plenty of healthy whole-grain options available.

If refined grains are part of your diet, try swapping them for some of the whole grain alternatives listed above to reap their health benefits.

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