Quinoa and bulgur are so last year. Try these four lesser-known grains high in performance-boosting attributes.
You probably already know that, nutritionally, whole grains trump refined grains—that’s why you load your grocery cart with brown rice, whole-wheat bread and oatmeal. But maybe you’ve become a bit blasé about these familiar items. Thankfully for carbohydrate-craving triathletes, it has never been easier to find a marvelous assortment of whole grains on store shelves or in bulk bins. Look for them at any well-stocked health food/natural food store, or try Bobsredmill.com or Lotusfoods.com. Many of the following grains have the goods to boost performance and awaken a bored palate. Here are four great grains to stock in your pantry.
Load up on antioxidants with: Black rice
Black rice, an heirloom variety of rice cultivated in Asia with a rich, sweet nutty taste and chewy texture, is the new bastion of the health-food movement. According to scientists at Louisiana State University, black rice, or more accurately, deep purple rice, possesses a surfeit of anthocyanin antioxidants, molecules that sweep through a body looking to knock out disease-provoking free-radicals. These are the same antioxidants responsible for the fetching hues of blueberries and blackberries. Athletes should seek out antioxidant-rich foods to help with muscle repair during training.
In the kitchen: As a general rule, you should simmer 1 cup black rice with 1 3/4 cups water for about 30 minutes. It can make a powerful addition to salads, pilafs, tabbouleh, stir-fries or even sushi rolls. For a healthy dessert, mix cooked black rice with coconut milk, palm sugar, ginger and diced mango.