Is Farro gluten free?
Gluten is a protein found in grains that acts as a binder and helps to hold foods like wheat and barley together, to maintain their shape. Being or eating only gluten-free foods means excluding any food that contains gluten from your diet, probably because your doctor instructs that you do so to manage celiac disease or you are allergic to gluten. It could also be part of your weight loss plan, even though there is no evidence yet that suggests that gluten-free diets improve weight loss.
Choosing what food to eat and what not to eat on a gluten-free diet could be difficult, especially if it is a grain food as gluten is mostly found in grains. So finding which grain has gluten and which is gluten-free is not always easy.
Speaking of grains, there are different types of grain food that you must have heard of like barley, buckwheat, and whole wheat. But it is very unlikely that you have heard of Farro. So what is farro, what are the benefits of farro how can you use farro, and most importantly, is farro gluten free? Let’s find out.
WHAT IS FARRO?
In some parts of the world, farro is also called ’emmer’. It is an ancient species of wheat grain that resembles brown rice and is packed with fibers, minerals, and other nutrients.
Recently, ancient grains like farro are becoming increasingly famous around the globe, especially in Italy.
In Italy, the term farro refers to the oldest wheat species and is used to encompass other wheat sources like spelt, einkorn, and emmer.
It has a nutty taste and a chewy texture. It is staging a comeback as a gourmet, especially as it is an excellent source of protein, fiber, and nutrients like magnesium.
TYPES OF FARRO
There are different forms in which farro exists, and this is because there are several species of farro grains and different ways of processing the seeds. For instance, einkorn and emmer are two types of farro with different sizes.
There are commonly 2 types of farro: Semi-pearled farro and Pearled farro
Pearled farro is the processed version of farro, though partially processed and some nutrients and fibers removed. The semi-pearled farro is the best of the two since it is more fiber-rich and nutrient-rich.
IS FARRO HEALTHY?
Yes. Farro is becoming famous in the U.S for its versatility and health benefits.
As stated earlier, it is a great source of fiber, protein, magnesium, and iron. It can offer health benefits for medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, digestive problems, and brain damage.
Let’s look at the nutritional profile of farro to discern just how healthy farro is.
WHAT IS THE NUTRITIONAL PROFILE OF FARRO LIKE?
Farro is a much healthier alternative to white rice or refined grains.
One-fourth cup of serving organic whole grain emmer farro provides you with:
- Carbs: 34g
- Fibre: 5g
- Protein: 7g
- Vitamin B3 (niacin): 20%
- RDI- Magnesium:15%
- RDI- Zinc: 15%
- RDI- Iron: 4% RDI
- Calcium: 40mg
All of these nutrients play important roles in your body’s system.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF FARRO
Now we have seen what farro is made up of, and the minerals that can be obtained from it, let’s discuss in detail what role these nutrients can play in our bodies.
HIGH IN FIBRE
Compared to most popular grain foods like brown rice and pasta, farro contains considerably higher amounts of fiber. It provides about 20% of the daily recommended intake of fiber.
Now you ask about the importance of fiber. The most common knowledge about the importance of fiber is that it helps to prove digestive health, that is improved bowel movements and lower risk of constipation. Other importance is:
- Lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- Lower blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels.
- It boosts gut health
IT IS A GOOD SOURCE OF PROTEIN
Most grain foods are rich in carbohydrates, it is surprising to find out that a whole grain like farro can be a great source of plant-based protein too, actually providing almost the same amount as most legumes.
This means that it provides a sufficient amount of essential amino acids, which makes it beneficial to vegetarians and all those looking for a plant-based protein source.
Also, it may be beneficial to those with heart issues, because a higher-protein diet has shown reduced blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels -two things that could put you at risk of suffering heart disease.
IT IS PACKED WITH ANTIOXIDANTS
Whole grains are usually associated with improved health because of the side range of antioxidants they contain. All 3 grains associated with farro (spelt, einkorn, and emmer) are all great sources of antioxidants; Polyphenols, Carotenoids, and Selenium. Studies have shown that the long-term consumption of diets rich in polyphenols can protect you against diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke, and neurodegenerative diseases.
PROVIDES IRON, MAGNESIUM, AND ZINC
Farro is a rich source of iron, magnesium, and zinc. What do they do? Iron is essential to help prevent anemia and prove energy, Zinc is required for promoting a healthy immune system, wound healing, and to help break down carbohydrates during digestion. Meanwhile, magnesium provides strong bones, a healthy nerve system, optimum immunity, improved muscle function, and regulates heartbeat. Magnesium also helps with digestion and fights headaches and insomnia.
IS FARRO GLUTEN FREE?
Farro is often said to have low levels of gluten. A theory says that ancient grains are safer for people with gluten-sensitive related conditions and that if you soak the farro overnight, it becomes more tolerable and easy to digest for gluten-sensitive people.
However, the fact is farro is a species of the wheat family and naturally, contains gluten, making it unsafe for gluten-sensitive people. Although there is no evidence yet on how farro affects people who are sensitive to gluten, it is safe and recommended to stay away from it and not include it in your diet.
ALTERNATIVES TO FARRO
Farro is not gluten-free, so it is not suitable for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, so instead of farro, what can you eat since you are either gluten sensitive or have celiac disease?
You could opt for one of the following to substitute farro:- Brown rice- Buckwheat- Millet- Quinoa- Sorghum
QUINOA VS FARRO
Quinoa is similar to rice, it has a nutty flavor and a poppy texture and used to get all the attention as one of the most nutritious whole grains, but recently it competes with farro for that attention.
Although, unlike farro, quinoa is gluten-free, nutritionally speaking, both grains are very much alike. Let’s look at the nutritional profile of quinoa.
One-fourth serving of quinoa provides:- Fat: 3g- Carbs: 3g- Fibre: 3g- Protein: 6g- Calcium: 20mg
While they are both rich in protein, farro has more carbs and provides more vitamins and minerals than quinoa.
HOW DO YOU USE FARRO?
Farro makes an excellent addition to food recipes, as you can serve it with salads, soups, or a breakfast bowl. You can also keep things simple and cook farro on its own with some simple seasonings, just like you would with rice. Farro is used in making sampling flour which is said to be often used to make homemade kinds of pasta. Also, you can make one of the world’s unique risotto using farro -farroto.
SIMPLE RECIPE FOR MAKING FARRO
- Here is a simple recipe to help you when making farro:
- Boil 2-3 cups of water, you may need more while cooking.
- Add a cup of farro and salt to the boiling water.
Cover the pot and reduce the wheat
- Cook for about 10-20 minutes until the grains are tender but not mushy.
- If you had soaked the grains before cooking, first drain the water, replace it with 3 cups of fresh water
- Then cook for 10 minutes.
Farro is not gluten-free, so those with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease should not add it to their meal. However, it is a very nutritious whole grain. Rich in vitamin B3, iron, zinc, magnesium, fiber, protein, and carbohydrate. All of which make a healthy meal and can be very beneficial for strong bones and improved immune systems. Farro also provides antioxidants that help protect you against medical conditions such as heart diseases, diabetes, and some cancer. If you are not gluten-sensitive, you can always try farro either with salads, soups, or make a risotto out of it.
- The Next Super Grain You Should Be Eating. www-popsugar-com.cdn.ampproject-org. April 30, 2022.
- What Gluten-Free People Should Know About Farro. www.womenshealthmag.com. April 30, 2022.
- What Is Farro? Health Benefits and How to Use This Ancient Grain. draxe.com. April 30, 2022.