In the west, we consume more modern grains than other parts of the worlds. Many practitioners of Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Integrative Medicine advocate reducing intake of modern refined grains and increasing consumption of ancient grains such as amaranth, black barley, black rice, einkorn, farro, millet, quinoa, spelt and teff to name but a few. Many advocate ancient grains as natural cure and remedies. Together with the gluten epidemic, the demand for ancient grains (which contains no gluten) continues to grow and all the major supermarkets, food producers and restaurants are responding to the demand. Many mouth-watering recipes using ancient grains include Giant Spelt Pancake, Blueberry Buckwheat pancakes, Kamut Salad, Lemony Millet Pudding, Barley Risotto, Buckwheat Granola and Ancient Grain Salad to name but a few. 


Quackery or Superfood

Many are sceptical that ancient grains are the natural cure or remedies and some regard this marketing scam and claiming that advice given by Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Integrative Medicine practitioners is just quackery.

Now a recent scientific publication has indicated the Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Integrative Medicine practitioners who advocate ancient grains as part of the everyday diet or natural cure and remedies may be correct. The study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition  by Sereni et al has revealed that eating bread made with ancient grains can help lower cholesterol and blood glucose compared with the more heavily refined modern grain varieties. These ancient grains also contain:

  • Vitamins B and E
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Potassium

The results of this clinical trial showed significant reduction of:

  • Total Cholesterol
  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the ‘bad’ cholesterol)
  • Levels of blood glucose

These observations were seen after 2 months of consuming bread made from ancient grains, regardless of whether they are organically or traditionally grown. Furthermore, they found that those who consumed the bread made from the ancient grain Verna had a substantial increase in circulating endothelial progenitor cells, which repair damaged blood vessels. The number of circulating EPC has been shown to be inversely correlated with cardio vascular risk factors. These are encouraging results that indicate that ancient grains are viable natural cure and remedies for cardiovascular problems.

Takeaway Message

Adding ancient grains to your diet is beneficial. Dr Oz advocates ancient grains for weight loss, but more scientific evidence is required to confirm this viewpoint. It is also important to be mindful of the calories and sugar content of commercial products with ancient grains.

So the advice given by many practitioners of Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Integrative Medicine in relation to ancient grains is of value and in time more benefits of ancient grains will be scientifically validated. So for now strongly consider adding the healthy and delicious ancient grains to your diet.