Low-Carb Out, Grains In: Why You Need This Superfood at Your Next Event

Here’s how to incorporate this metabolism-boosting, weight-managing agent into the menu

It used to be that when clients requested a “healthy” array of hors d’oeuvres and entrees at their meetings, event planners had no choice but to draw from the same selection of fruit and veggie platters. But with the emergence of brain-boosting teas and celeb-endorsed trends like juicing, these days what’s considered “healthy” isn’t so limiting. 

There’s one superfood making a major comeback in the health food craze that, more likely than not, is probably stashed in the far corner of your food cabinet already. 

According to a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming whole grains can, thanks to the fiber, help speed up your metabolism and regulate weight. The impact is comparable to a 30-minute walk in terms of how food is metabolized and digested, as the study’s senior author notes.  

What’s more, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, whole grains also assist in maintaining steady blood sugar levels, preventing blood clots and providing the body with essential minerals, such as magnesium and selenium, that may protect against some cancers. 

Here are four types of heart- and metabolism-healthy whole grains, and a few ways you can incorporate them into your next event’s food selection. 

Freekeh

If you associate whole grains mostly with bread, you need to try freekeh immediately. 

As an article from The Atlantic points out, freekeh has more protein, vitamins and minerals than most other grains (so it’s even more effective, metabolism-wise) and has more than four times the fiber in brown rice. It has a nutty, earthy flavor, and is common in several Indian dishes. 

As for ways to use it, consider this yummy freekeh salad recipe from Well+Good

Buckwheat 

Similar to freekeh, buckwheat has a nutty flavor. But it sticks out in another way––the grain is jam-packed with amino acids, making it one of the top foods for lowering cholesterol levels, according to Oprah.com. What’s more, it is known to stabilize blood sugar and could potentially cut back on hypertension. 

The best part of all, however, is that buckwheat is ridiculously malleable and can even be pounded into sinfully sweet cookie and sundae dishes, like this treat from Turntable Kitchen

Oats

As a breakfast table staple since our youth, oats are undoubtedly one of the best, and healthful, comfort foods you can indulge in. They also boast heart- and gut-boosting properties, helping you keep cholesterol levels in check and manage hunger as the day goes on. 

For a breakfast-hour event, opt for an oatmeal bar (like this one from Leaf) where attendees can pick and choose fruit, nuts, yogurt and seasoning garnishes. 

Brown Rice

Brown rice has several of the same healthy properties as oats, buckwheat and freekeh, but the true advantage lies in its versatility and availability—you could probably quite easily remember the last time you consumed rice. 

Take advantage of that versatility by serving up a seemingly unhealthy (but actually healthy) dish, like burritos, in bar style. We love this recipe from Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa that combines a selection of low-sodium salsas, low-fat cheeses and brown rice.