Have you heard about the up and coming grain that could end Quinoa’s reign as the most popular grain? Fonio is a grain grown throughout West Africa, and is one of the oldest harvested grains. The grain comes in two varieties but white, also called “hungry rice,” is the most popular. Fonio is a small grain extracted from plants. It is often pounded and used in side dishes or mixed with water to create a mouth watering hot cereal and can be ground into a flour…it has even been used to brew beer.
The texture and appearance is similar to quinoa or couscous. It has so many health benefits and is suitable for nearly any diet. It’s naturally gluten free making it acceptable for those suffering with Celiac’sDisease. This ancient grain is also a low glycemic food meaning it gradually effects blood sugar levels making it appeal to diabetics. But there are plenty more benefits of this yummy grain.
Benefits of Fonio
Fonio contains a similar carbohydrate, protein, and fat make up to cereal. This means it can increase energy without affecting glucose in negative ways. It can provide steady energy throughout the day rather than a spike and crash cycle. Beginning the day with a good breakfast is essential to anyone’s day but avoiding mid-day crashes can be hard. Fonio maintains blood sugar levels positively.
Fonio is easier to digest than most grains and contains a significant amount of fiber. This makes the body feel fuller longer which can also aid in weight management. The large amounts of fiber can lead to healthy digestive tract function reducing constipation and bloat. It’s even been used to treat upset stomachs.
Improves Heart Health
It’s been proven whole grains decrease the chances of heart disease and stroke. Fonio is full of vitamins and minerals that are heart healthy. It’s full of Vitamin B which is known to lower homocysteine. A reduction in homocysteine decreases the damage to artery linings and lessen the chance of blood clots. This promotes heart health overall.
Benefits for Women
Women can benefit from Fonio in so many ways. The grain is full of amino acids (more than that of quinoa) and iron that the blood needs to function at healthy levels. This can reduce the chances or symptoms of anemia. Fonio helps form cartilage while strengthening hair and nails. The surplus of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids can decrease the effects of aging. Fonio increases liver function and is a great natural detoxifier.
Should You Try Fonio?
Of course! Not only are there many health benefits and it can be incorporated into one’s diet in many ways. It can be eaten for breakfast as a replacement for cereal or mixed into porridge (try our recipe!) It has a nutty flavor and is easy to cook. Fonio can be added to everything from stir-fry to trendy, Instagrammable breakfast bowls. It has the nutrients to keep you fuller, longer and sustain energy without a crash and keeps your body running in tip top shape through even the most hectic days. It’s the most nutrient dense grain you’ve probably never heard of…until now.
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