Christmas is coming and they don't call it silly season for nothing as just about every sensible thing - diets included - go out the window.
As the weather gets warmer, our diets naturally get cleaner, and this summer Kathleen Alleaume, nutritionist and Uncle Tobys ambassador, is encouraging Australians to incorporate more whole grains into their diets.
International Whole Grain Day was on November 15 and Kathleen said it was a timely reminder of why you should be adding more wholegrains to your diet, particularly at this time of year.
Coming in different shapes and sizes, wholegrains nutritiously contain dietary fibre to support digestive health and include protein, vitamins (especially B-group vitamins and antioxidant Vitamin E), minerals (iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium) and many bioactive phytonutrients.
The National Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council recommend Aussie adults consume 48 grams of wholegrains daily.
This can be easily achieved by choosing a minimum of three serves of whole grains every day.
"Refined grains such as white flour, white rice or white bread, on the other hand, have been processed, which removes the bran and germ. The refinement process gives these foods a finer texture and also removes important nutrients, such as B vitamins and fibre," Kathleen said.
"Choosing wholegrain products over refined grains can have many health benefits, such as promoting better bowel function helping you feel fuller and for products that are low GI they help stabilise sugar levels.
"Wholegrain oat products such as Uncle Tobys Traditional Rolled Oats contain beta-glucan which helps lower cholesterol for heart health, and wholegrains containing pre-biotic fibre (chicory root fibre) are a great choice to help grow good bacteria for gut health to enjoy as part of a healthy varied diet."
Kathleen offered some simple ways you can increase your wholegrain intake:
- Enjoy a whole grain breakfast cereal made from wholegrains or choose multigrain bread over white bread. Carbs are the body's preferred source of fuel and opting for wholegrain varieties typically ensure more fibre intake compared to refined grains.
- Blend rolled oats, whole grain breakfast cereal or quinoa flakes to your morning smoothie for a fibre boost.
- Choose snacks such as muesli bars made with at least 40 per cent wholegrains for a snack.
- Change your regular white pasta for a wholegrain version such as wholemeal, whole spelt, quinoa.
- Mix up your flours when baking muffins, pikelets, or scones by substituting white flour for oat, buckwheat, rye, or spelt flours.
- Switch to brown, wild rice, barley or quinoa with a stir-fry or casserole.
- Substitute breadcrumbs for stuffing made from cooked quinoa, rolled oats, brown rice, buckwheat or freekeh
Very Cherry Smoothie Bowl (serves 2)
- 3/4 cup frozen pitted cherries, extra for garnish
- 1/2 cup of natural yoghurt
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup Uncle Tobys oat milk
- 3/4 cup Uncle Tobys rolled oats, extra for garnish
- 1 cup ice cubes
- 1 tsp honey
- Mint leaves - tree
- Chia seeds
- Pepita seeds
- Pomegranate arils
- 1 tsp desiccated coconut - snow
- Place all smoothie ingredients in a high-speed blender
- Blend until smooth
- Pour into two bowls
- Arrange garnish toppings into a Christmas tree design