Of course you've heard of rice and barley. Even quinoa and millet are a part of your healthy-eating vocabulary. But farro? Now that's one grain that doesn't get as much of the spotlight. But it should. Even though it's not gluten-free, this chewy, nutty-tasting grain that's similar to brown rice is still a pretty healthy whole grain, and here's why.
- Farro is higher in fiber than many other whole grains, including more than twice the amount found in quinoa and three times the amount found in rice. Getting your fill of fiber — at least 25 grams per day — not only keeps you regular and lowers your risk of breast cancer, but also gives you the "I'm full" sensation for longer. If you feel full, you're less likely to reach for more food, and that's great news if you're watching your weight. Use farro in soups, salads, and stir-fries like this maple-cumin tofu with farro.
- Farro is a great source of hunger-satiating, muscle-building, energy-sustaining protein, offering seven grams per quarter-cup serving of dry grain. That's more than barley, millet, oats, quinoa, and brown rice. Eating meals high in protein keeps you feeling fuller for longer periods of time, which translates to consuming fewer daily calories. Another point for weight loss!
- If you're looking to plant-based foods to increase your iron intake, eat some farro. A serving offers 10 percent of your recommended daily amount. It's also rich in B vitamins and magnesium, which can help fight period pain, depression, and insomnia.
- Consuming foods that are high in complex carbs, like farro, can help you lose weight, since they break down slowly and take longer to digest than simple carbs. Complex carbs also stabilize your blood sugar levels, so you won't experience that drop in energy that makes you crave soda or sweets.