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What is Gluten? What type of grains are Gluten-free?


The word ‘Gluten’ is talked about more often than ever before, yet many of us are unaware of the many details about Gluten and why a lot of people cannot consume it. A Gluten free diet is considered to be “in vogue” in the West, however there are many people with Gluten sensitivity who can face many health complications by eating foods that contain Gluten. Let us learn a few things about Gluten that can help us understand it better.

What is Gluten? 

It is a family of protein primarily found in wheat and other cereal grains like Barley (Jau), Rye and a few others. Gluten is present in many different forms depending on the type of cereal grain.

What is Gluten sensitivity? 

In recent years, more and more information regarding Gluten sensitivity has become known to the public. This has resulted in a surge in the demand for Gluten free food choices. A lot of people prefer to consume a Gluten free diet for health and fitness reasons. However, Gluten sensitivity is a real issue for many people with medical conditions that makes Gluten unsafe for them to consume.

For example, people with Celiac disease cannot eat foods that contain Gluten. Although there are many people who have a Gluten sensitivity that can result in a number of Non-Celiac related health problems for them. These health problems can cause symptoms that range from gastrointestinal problems, neurological diseases and other manifestations such as headaches, numbness and more.

These problems can manifest in the form of symptoms which can range from minor to sometimes major symptoms. Bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, rashes, and inflammation of the skin, nutritional deficiencies, anaemia and more are commonly observed in people with Gluten sensitivity who consume non-Gluten free foods.

What are ‘Gluten Free Grains’?

There are many types of naturally Gluten free grains that are suitable for people who have an intolerance towards Gluten which can also be called Gluten sensitivity. These grains can be of great help to people with Gluten-sensitivity. Check out this Gluten free grains list that can help fulfil your nutritional needs.

  1. Ragi

    A nutritionally rich grain, Ragi is also known by the names Finger Millet or Naachni. Mostly consumed in the form of Ragi flour, is naturally Gluten-free. Packed with protein, iron, calcium, and other nutrients makes Ragi flour great for diabetics too. Ragi is also rich in dietary fibre which aids in healthy digestion.

  2. Quinoa

    Part of the Amaranth family of plants, Quinoa is also a naturally Gluten free grain. Like Millets, there are many different types of Amaranth. Technically, Quinoa is not a type of cereal grain but its texture and appearance allow it to be used in a similar way for cooking as other cereal grains such as Millets or Oats. Quinoa is a protein-rich food that is also nutritionally dense. It contains a number of other nutrients and minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, Vitamin B and Vitamin E among others. Quinoa is an excellent food option for people with Gluten sensitivity.

  3. Corn

    A widely used type of grain in Indian cuisine and many more, Corn is a Gluten free grain in its natural form. However, using products made with Corn must be checked properly since there are other additives that could contain Gluten. Using natural corn, or other corn-based products such as Corn Starch, Corn Flour and Corn Meal in their natural form is safe for people with Gluten sensitivity. Corn is an important part of the Gluten free grains list since a lot of delicious recipes can be prepared with it.

  4. Bajra

    Besides Ragi, other types of Millets such as Bajra is also a naturally gluten free grain. Bajra is also known as the Pearl Millet and happens to be a common part of the cuisine in many Indian cultures. Bajra flour is used to prepare flatbreads, and other types of delicacies. Besides being part of the Gluten free grains list, Bajra is also rich in protein, dietary fibre and other micronutrients. It is also rich in antioxidants, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and other vital minerals.

    Besides Ragi (Finger Millet) and Bajra (Pearl Millet), the Foxtail Millet, Sorghum Millet (Jowar) and many other types of Millet are also Gluten free grains. These are great options for people with Gluten sensitivity to include in their diet, helping them eliminate foods that contain Gluten and stay fit and happy.

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