The number of people opting for a gluten-free diet has been rising steadily over the past several years. For many this a lifestyle choice, but for those with celiac disease it’s necessary. An autoimmune disorder, celiac disease is triggered by the consumption of gluten—a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye.
Since many food products are made using these grains, or come in contact with them during the production process, those with celiac disease may feel limited in what they can eat. The good news is that the number of gluten-free grains actually outweighs those that contain it, offering plenty of options. Here are nine varieties to consider trying.
Amaranth may not be widely known or used in many parts of the world, but this grain (which is actually a seed) is very popular throughout South America and in countries like Mexico and Nepal. In fact, the Aztecs began domesticating the crop approximately 6,000 to 8,000 years ago for use in religious practices and as a major food source.
And for good reason! This grain offers a myriad of health benefits. In addition to being naturally gluten-free, amaranth is a rich source of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. It is also one of the only grains that contain vitamin C, and recent studies have shown that it can be beneficial for lowering cholesterol.