If you wanted to eat more vegetables, you wouldn't just munch on carrots. So when it comes to grains, why rely only on brown rice? "Some types are high in one nutrient, some in another," says Cynthia Harriman, director of food and nutrition strategies at the Whole Grains Council. "Eating a variety helps you cover your bases." Bring some diversity to your table with these powerhouses.
Compared with regular wheat, this ancient grain is sweeter and more digestible; some people with wheat sensitivity can eat it. It's also higher in trace minerals, like manganese, as well as B vitamins. You'll find it most often in breads and pasta, but it can also be found whole in health food stores.
Also known as emmer wheat, farro is gaining popularity for its stellar nutrition profile: It's lower in calories than wheat berries (100 versus 150 per half cup) and has twice the fiber of brown rice. It has a complex, earthy flavor, creamy texture, and can be prepared risotto style.
This tiny grain is higher in protein than most others (5 grams per 1/2 cup cooked versus about 2 grams in wheat), and it has lysine, an amino acid lacking in other grains that helps the body absorb calcium. It contains no gluten and has a peppery flavor. Try it as a hot cereal or a dessert.