KNOW YOUR GRAIN BOWL BASES

Start with the good stuff when you’re putting to­gether this pop­u­lar one-dish meal for your­self. The pros teach you what’s what.

Herworld (Singapore) - - NEWS -

From nutri­tion to taste – how to nar­row the choices when fill­ing up on this pop­u­lar one-dish won­der.

1. Cauliflower rice

If you want low-carb, this is pretty much it – cauliflower flo­rets are pulsed in a food pro­ces­sor un­til they’ve bro­ken down into tiny gran­ules re­sem­bling “rice”. This is an ex­cel­lent source of vi­ta­min C (which is thought to pro­tect against im­mune sys­tem de­fi­cien­cies), vi­ta­min K (which reg­u­lates nor­mal blood clot­ting), and fo­late (which helps in the process of red blood cell for­ma­tion). “Cauliflower rice con­tains a high level of an­tiox­i­dant phy­to­chem­i­cals, which are said to pro­tect against the de­vel­op­ment of can­cer in its early stages,” adds Yishun Com­mu­nity Hospi­tal’s prin­ci­pal di­eti­tian Chan Sue Mei. Plus, cauliflower helps re­duce the body’s ox­ida­tive stress (that means stress as a re­sult of ex­po­sure to tox­ins like cig­a­rette smoke and too much al­co­hol).

2. Red and brown rice

You should al­ways choose one of th­ese two op­tions over white rice. Bon­nie Lau, lead di­eti­tian at dig­i­tal health com­pany Hol­musk, says that’s be­cause they con­tain al­most five times more fi­bre as well as way more vi­ta­mins and min­er­als – which usu­ally get stripped away in the pro­cess­ing of white rice.

Red rice also has an­tiox­i­dants called an­tho­cyanins – found in some fruits and veg­eta­bles – that are thought to re­duce your risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, cog­ni­tive de­cline and can­cer, says Sue Mei. Brown rice, she adds, has niacin (more com­monly known as vi­ta­min B3), which is of­ten used to treat anx­i­ety.

3. Bar­ley

Eat­ing healthy goes down a lot eas­ier when you’re eat­ing stuff you en­joy. Most peo­ple like bar­ley for its softer tex­ture and malty taste – and when added to a soupier dish, it gives it a vel­vety and silky feel, with some bite. Bar­ley has more fi­bre than brown rice and quinoa, and is also a good source of iron, niacin and vi­ta­min B6.

4. Soba

Soba is made from a mix of buck­wheat flour and white flour. Buck­wheat is touted as a good source of man­ganese and mag­ne­sium, says Bon­nie. Man­ganese is for bet­ter bone health, glu­cose me­tab­o­lism and wound heal­ing, while mag­ne­sium main­tains mus­cle and nerve func­tions and keeps the heart’s rhythm steady.

5. Quinoa

A gluten-free sta­ple, quinoa is more of a seed than an ac­tual grain. The sell­ing point? Be­ing high in pro­tein and a great source of zinc, cop­per and mag­ne­sium – all of which are great for bone health. “Quinoa also con­tains rel­a­tively high lev­els of flavonoids, a type of an­tiox­i­dant which can pro­tect against chronic dis­eases,” says Sue Mei.

TEXT HOE I YUNE PHO­TOG­RA­PHY VERON­ICA TAY STYLING AL­ICE CHUA & SHAN

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