A whole grain is the entire kernel of grain. That means the bran, germ and endosperm are all present and remain during processing.
- Amaranth - Amaranthus caudatus - This has a peppery taste and a high level of protein.
- Barley - Hordeum spp. - This includes hull-less or naked barley but not pearled.
- Buckwheat and Tartary buckwheat - Fagopyrum spp. - This is not technically a grain and has high levels of an antioxidant called rutin.
- Canary seed - Phalaris canariensis - This is used in Mexico to make atole, a hot beverage. It is used as food in the Canary Islands, Italy and North Africa.
- Job’s tears - Coizlacryma-jobi - This can grow in higher altitudes where corn and rice cannot grow well.
- Fonio, black fonio, Asian millet - Digitaria spp. - This is widely used in Africa.
- Kañiwa - Chenopodium pallidicaule - a cousin of quinoa, this is a pseudo-cereal. It has a high level of protein.
- Maize or corn - Zea mays. This has more antioxidants than any grain or vegetable.
- Millets - Brachiaria spp., Pennisetum spp., Panicum spp., Setaria spp., Paspalum spp., Eleusine spp., Echinochloa spp - This has varieties like white, red, gray or yellow and it is gluten-free.
- Oats - Avena spp. This includes hull-less or naked oats - The oat bran and germ are not usually removed during processing.
- Quinoa - Chenopodium quinoa Willd. - This comes from the Andes and is not a true grain; but, it is related to swiss chard and beets.
- Rice - Oryza spp. - This includes brown, black, red, and other colored rice varieties - This is the most easily digested grain.
- Rye - Secale spp. - This can grow in wet and cold conditions; so, it is cultivated in northern Europe and Russia.
- Sorghum - Sorghum spp. - or milo - This is a hardy grain and is gluten-free
- Spelt - Also known as dinkel wheat or hulled wheat, this grain has more protein that regular wheat.
- Teff - Eragrotis spp. - This is widely used in Ethopia.
- Triticale - x triticosecale rimpaui - This is a hybrid of durum wheat and rye.
- Wheat - Triticum spp. - This includes durums, emmer, einkorn, faro, khorasan wheat and spelt.
- Wild rice - Zizania spp. - This is not technically rice, but the seed of an aquatic grass.
Products Made with Whole Grains
- Dinner rolls or other buns
- English muffins
- Grape Nuts
- Kashi Instant Hot Cereal
- Pita bread
- Rolled oats
- Shredded Wheat
- Sliced bread
- Steel cut oats
Names to Indicate Whole Grain Products
In the United States, certain names are used to indicate whole grain products. These are:
- Bromated whole wheat flour
- Bulgur (cracked wheat) - "bulgur" by itself may or may not indicate whole grain
- Cracked wheat - only as listed as an ingredient, not as part of a name
- Crushed wheat
- Entire wheat flour
- Graham flour
- Whole durum flour
- Whole millet
- Whole wheat bread
- Whole wheat buns
- Whole wheat flour
- Whole wheat macaroni
- Whole wheat spaghetti
- Whole wheat vermicelli
These examples of whole grains show the diversity of options available around the world for whole grains.