9 Super Healthy Gluten-Free Grains Everyone Should Eat (2023)

Most exotic or not-so-popular gluten-free grains worth including in your diet can be hard to find.

When following a gluten-free diet and especially in the beginning, you quickly understand how difficult it can be.

A major lifestyle change is necessary for many reasons, but the most important is to avoid the gluten protein that’s found in wheat, barley and rye.

The problem is that gluten can be found in pretty much everything, and that alone makes it a real challenge if a gluten related condition is involved, like wheat allergy or celiac disease.

Taking all the necessary precautions to keep gluten out of your food should always be the top priority, and not all brands aren’t trustworthy when it comes to keeping gluten out of products.

Gluten-Free Grains List

When it comes to finding grains without gluten, there aren’t too many alternative as the most commonly consumed grains contain gluten.

One of many great benefits of most gluten-free grains, is that whole grains helps in keeping you feeling fuller for much longer, and provides dietary fiber that’s beneficial to ones digestive health.

Here is all gluten-free grains that everyone should include in their diet. There are many other gluten-free foods as well.

1. Quinoa

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Quinoa is a seed, technically a pseudo-cereal that belongs to the non-grasses family. Non-grasses are plants which produces seeds or fruits, that are consumed the same way as grains.

Even though it’s often confused as a grain, there’s no way to not make the gluten-free grains list.

Quinoa is gluten-free, has a high nutritional profile that’s rich in dietary minerals that easily surpasses most known grains, antioxidants which help in reducing risks of diseases, fiber, B vitamins, and very high protein.

It’s considered a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids our bodies cannot naturally produce, and must be obtained from food sources.

2. Sorghum

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Sorghum is a known super-food from the Poaceae grass family that’s rich in antioxidants, high in protein and naturally gluten-free.

There are several varieties of sorghum, white and tan being the most commonly consumed or used types in the food industry.

With a total of 25 species originating from Africa, native to specific regions of the world but mostly cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions.

Sorgum bicolar is the most important out of all, as it’s cultivated for grain worldwide and normally used for human & animal foods, and in ethanol production.

Sorghum is also widely used as a sweetener substitute, that’s made from the green juice when extracted from the crushed stalks which is then heated to get rid of excess water which leaves behind the syrup.

3. Teff

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One of the earliest plants to be domesticated, Teff originated and is mostly cultivated in Africa, specifically in Eritrea and Ethiopia.

It’s quite adaptable, can be cultivated in various environments in both dry or wet conditions (mostly produced during rain seasons) unlike many ancient grains, and general crops.

Produces the smallest grain in the world that’s smaller than 1 mm, but still packs a nutritional punch.

The fiber content is higher than most grains, or other cereals. In about one hundred grams it provides 101 calories, good source of zinc, magnesium, iron, thiamine, manganese and rich in protein.

It has so much economic potential, that the US and many European countries have begin to cultivate and sell it domestically.

4. Rice

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The most widely known and consumed staple grain in the world that feeds billions of people on a daily basis.

There’s different varieties of rice, different length, shape and sizes like short, median and long grains all with different nutritional profile.

  1. Wild Rice. Harvested from the genus Zizania grass species,
  2. Forbidden Rice. Known as black rice, it has a high nutritional value with a mild nutty flavor that get’s slightly sticky from being cooked.
  3. Brown Rice. The healthiest of all rices, it sheds the outer husk while retaining the germ and bran layer, which are rich in minerals and vitamins.
  4. Polished Rice. Simple refers to white rice that has had it’s brown and germ layer removed which are also known as milled rice.

A cheap versatile grain that’s easily found in almost every corner and local stores regardless how big or small.

It’s nutritional value varies based on the type of rice, the conditions it was cultivated in, how it was processed and cooked. And yes, rice is gluten-free.

5. Amaranth

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Amaranth traces back 8,000 years ago, cultivated by the Aztecs. Today, It’s still a native crop to Peru.

This ancient pseudo-cereal from South America is an impressive nutritional profile.

Amaranth is widely known by people following a paleo diet, it’s a pseudo-cereal that has great beneficial similarities such as rice, or wheat.

In a 2013 study, amaranth flour was used instead of wheat flour to determine if there was any special nutritional benefits to Amaranth. Interestingly there was high increase of minerals, lipids fiber and protein. *

Of course, this pseudo-cereal is also gluten-free, and very rich in antioxidants.

Another interesting health benefit of Amaranth, is that it’s oil (amaranth oil) can be a food option that helps in preventing, and treating cardiovascular diseases in people. *

6. Millet

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Much like Sorghum, Millet is also from the Poaceae family.

It’s mostly consumed in Asia, Africa, and many other European countries. It’s nutritional profile closely resembles to sorghum. *

In 200 grams (1 cup) of uncooked Millet, it contains 756 calories, fat 8.4 grams, fiber 17 grams, and 22 grams of protein.

Most of the health benefits of Millet comes from it’s fiber content, as it has a high level of dietary fiber.

Fiber has been found to reduce bad cholesterol levels while boosting good cholesterol, it also helps in reducing blood pressure, and stroke.

There are over 6,000 varieties cultivated throughout the world, and it’s primarily used ingredient for making beers, and other beverages.

7. Corn

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It’s cultivation dates as far back as 10,000 years ago, tracing back to Central America.

Most people mistake corn for a vegetable, but it’s a grain that’s rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and fiber.

There are different varieties of corn, ranging from blue, white, orange, red, black and yellow which is very common worldwide.

Although corn is high in sucrose (sugar), there are many other benefits such as:

  1. Fighting Diseases. It’s oil and high fiber content helps in lowering cholesterol levels in the body, and regulates insulin making it a great choice for diabetics.
  2. Weight gain. Calories are king. But getting healthy calories requires eating healthy, corn is a high source of calories and it’s health benefits make it a great option for getting those healthy calories instead of junk food.
  3. Skin Health. Corn is very high in vitamins, it has a high amount of lycopene, and vitamin C that helps to increase production of collagen and prevents free radicals from damaging ones skin.

8. Oats

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Oats (Avena sativa) are one of the healthiest whole grain foods in the world after Rice.

It’s most commonly eaten for breakfast as oatmeal, that’s made by boiling water or milk along with oats.

They’re also used to make a grand variety of foods such as:

  1. Granola Bars
  2. Baked Goods
  3. Cookies
  4. Oat Milk. One great way to utilize oats is to make oat milk that can be easily made by blending the oats with water in a blender until it’s smooth.
  5. Flour. Oats are easily and commonly ground into a versatile and yummy flour.

Oats is considered to have a balanced nutritional profile.

It’s a great source of fiber including the super powerful beta-glucan, has a good amount of protein but also contains a higher amount of fat unlike most of the gluten-free grains in this list.

It’s also loaded with important antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Oats are gluten-free as well.

9. Buckwheat

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Although often confused for containing gluten because of it’s name, it has no relation to wheat at all, as it’s not a grass. It’s a pseudo-cereal which means it’s cultivated and consumed like a normal would-be grain.

However, buckwheat cultivation has dropped dramatically in the 20th century due to other more important gluten-free grains staples.

100 grams of buckwheat contains 343 calories, it’s a great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals, and high in protein along with niacin, manganese and more.

Although it’s primarily made up of carbohydrates, it’s a good alternative to corn when looking for similar health benefits.

It’s important to mention that, no single food will likely ever provide all the nutrition a person needs. Regardless if they’re gluten-free grains, super-seeds, or super-foods.

These gluten-free grains should all be considered as part of a balanced, and healthy diet.

Common Questions

What are Gluten-Free Grains?

Grains that are gluten-free, simply means they don’t have the protein gluten in them.

Gluten causes a variety of complications in people who have gluten related conditions, celiac disease is one of those conditions.

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