Another great reason to eat whole grains

Make It Grain

Make It Grain

Fuel your runs and trim your waistline in a whole new way.By Liz Applegate Ph.D.Image by Mitch MandelFrom the March 2011 issue of Runner's World 

Brown rice, oats, and other whole grains are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and glycogen-rebuilding carbs. But a recent study from Tufts University found another reason to add them to your diet: Adults who eat three servings of whole grains daily while limiting refined versions have less abdominal fat and avoid unwanted weight gain. These healthy grains include quick-cooking options for snappy weeknight meals and slower alternatives for more leisurely weekend afternoons.

Ready In: 15 minutes
Why It's Good: Quinoa provides 63 percent of your Daily Value (DV) of manganese in just one cup. Look for red quinoa for an extra boost of antioxidants.

Ready In: 20 minutes
Why It's Good: This tiny Ethiopian grain, which can range from tan to deep purplish brown, has a mild molasses taste and is a good source of iron.

Ready In: 25 minutes
Why It's Good: The size of a poppy seed, amaranth contains more protein than most other grains. Try popping it like corn for a tasty snack.

Ready In: 45 minutes
Why It's Good: Fluffy when cooked, millet is excellent in pilafs. One cup supplies 25 percent of your DV for magnesium—crucial for energy metabolism.

Ready In: 50 minutes
Why It's Good: Hearty-tasting oat "groats" (the whole oat kernel with just the outermost hull removed) are rich in cholesterol-lowering fiber.

Ready In: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Why It's Good: Whole-grain brown, black, and even purple rice are rich in magnesium and iron, which is needed to help keep energy levels high.

Ready In: 1 hour
Why It's Good: This is a high-fiber grain with a nutty taste. Soaking whole barley kernels overnight helps speed up the cooking process.

Ready In: 1 to 1 1/2 hours
Why It's Good: Rye is a good source of selenium, which protects cells from damage caused by exercise. Soaking kernels overnight shortens cooking time.

Ready In: 1 1/2 hours
Why It's Good: An Egyptian grain that's becoming widely cultivated, kamut is about 30 percent higher in protein than more common wheat varieties.

Wheat Berries
Ready In: 2 hours
Why It's Good: One-half cup of cooked whole-wheat berries packs 30 grams of glycogen-rebuilding carbs—or 10 percent of your DV.

Carb Up
Pre- and postrun meals made with tasty grains

PRERUN: Tropical Mango Quinoa
Combine cooked quinoa or barley with mango, shredded coconut, cashews, and honey.
POSTRUN: Pumpkin Cinnamon Oats
Top a bowl of cooked groats with protein-rich Greek yogurt, pumpkin seeds, and cinnamon.

PRERUN: Kamut with Fresh Herbs
Toss cooked kamut or wheat berries with sliced, sauteed carrots and snap peas. Stir in fresh mint, tarragon, and sage.
POSTRUN: Asian-Style Black Rice
Combine cooked black rice with shredded chicken, red cabbage, scallions, and cilantro. Toss with an Asian-style vinaigrette.

PRERUN: Italian Vegetable Millet
Mix cooked millet or wild rice with steamed yellow and green squash, chopped parsley, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
POSTRUN: Amaranth with Shrimp
Saute red onion, asparagus, and mushrooms in a sherry sauce. Toss with tofu, cooked amaranth, and grilled shrimp.

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