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Freekeh: A New Superfood That Can Be Compared To Quinoa

Freekeh: A New Superfood That Can Be Compared To Quinoa

Quinoa is renowned as a Superfood, or a nutrient-rich food especially beneficial for health and well-being, not only for the health benefits, but for it’s versatility. But is another Superfood waiting in the wings to take the spotlight?

As it turns out, yes. Freekeh is steadily gaining popularity, and for good reason. Before we go deeper let’s look at what freekeh is actually first.

Freekeh (pronounced free-kah) is the result of wheat harvested while young and green. It’s roasted over an open fire and the straw and husks of seeds are burned and rubbed off. The grain on the inside is too wet to burn, so you’re left with a firm, mildly chewy grain with an earthy, smoky flavor[1].

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The Great Debate: Freekeh VS Quinoa

Why eat Freekeh? Why eat Quinoa? Should you favor one over the other? Each is packed full of of nutritional goodness, but how do they compare to each other?

Quinoa is a gluten free grain, making it a great choice for the many people who suffer from gluten allergies. Freekeh is not gluten free, as it is a type of wheat. It makes up for the gluten when it comes to protein and fiber content, since Freekeh has nearly double the amount of fiber and protein that quinoa does. This may result in weight loss for those adding it to a healthy lifestyle. For those living with diabetes, Freekeh is also the better option – it ranks at a low 43 on the glycemic index, whereas quinoa is higher at 54.

Let’s break down the additional nutritional components of Freekeh and Quinoa in the table below, using 100 grams of each as the serving size:

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Freekeh[2]

  • 353 calories
  • 60.8 grams carbohydrates
  • 14.9 grams protein
  • 2 grams fat
  • 12.9 grams fiber
  • 31 milligrams zinc (207 percent DV)
  • 32 milligrams iron (178 percent DV)
  • 3.4 milligrams copper (170 percent DV)
  • 370 milligrams calcium (37 percent DV)
  • 110 milligrams magnesium (28 percent DV)

Quinoa[3]

  • 120 calories
  • 21.3 grams carbohydrates
  • 4.4 grams protein
  • 1.9 grams fat
  • 2.8 grams fiber
  • 1.09 milligrams zinc (10 percent DV)
  • 1.49 milligrams iron (19 percent DV)
  • 0.19 milligrams copper (21 percent DV)
  • 17 milligrams calcium (2 percent DV)
  • 64 milligrams magnesium

Freekeh-Out: Numerous Health Benefits of Freekeh

Freekeh is truly worthy of being called a Superfood, even if all you know about it is its nutritional value. But it isn’t just good for getting in your vitamins — Freekeh also carries amazing digestive benefits.

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  1. Because of its fiber content, it can ease a number of common digestive complaints including diarrhea and constipation. This is huge, especially considering the number of people affected by digestive issues in the U.S. alone in 2010 was 70 million people[4].
  2. The fiber content in Freekeh can also aid weight control management, since it helps avoid snacking between meals due to feeling fuller longer. It contains three times as much fiber as brown rice, so there’s a good chance your stomach won’t be grumbling hours before your next meal!
  3. Along with fiber, Freekeh also contains loads of antioxidants which can positively impact eye health. This is thanks to the antioxidants called zeaxanthin and lutein. These are known to prevent macular degeneration which typically occurs as we age.
  4. Freekeh even aids muscular growth and endurance, thanks to an amino acid called glutamic acid. This is popular with bodybuilders and athletes, as it assists with improving strength and endurance, naturally.
  5. And as mentioned earlier, the wholegrain variety of Freekeh ranks low on the glycemic index, making it ideal for anyone trying to maintain their blood sugar levels. Even if you aren’t diabetic, healthy blood sugar levels are important, as out of control levels can lead to heart, kidney, eye and nerve damage[5].

While it sounds too good to be true, Freekeh really is as great as it seems, and easily attainable! Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s sell Freekeh, and Whole Foods’ website even offers a few recipes. But if you’re like me and prefer doing as much of your shopping online as possible, Amazon is also a great resource to purchase a variety of Freekeh, some options even offering bulk quantities.

I’ve bought it, now what?

Aside from gluten and calories (which do not impact everyone the same way depending on lifestyle and allergies), Freekeh offers much more than Quinoa. But what does it taste like? Sure, it’s kind of smokey and earthy, but that probably rules out adding cinnamon and milk and making it a breakfast. Nope! As it turns out, it’s incredibly versatile.

Freekeh can be added in place of your usual grain (such as quinoa) for an easy side dish, or even a salad topper. It’s easy enough to cook, only requiring about 20 minutes in a sauce pan on the stove. However, if you love meal prepping and skipping the process of cooking as you go, Freekeh can be soaked in water overnight in the fridge and simply headed when you’re ready to enjoy it[6]. It’s also delicious as a savory salad, mixed with chickpeas and herbs such as parsley, mint and garlic.

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And as it turns out, Freekeh can be eaten for breakfast! Adding Freekeh and coconut milk, honey, cinnamon, a little sea salt, fruits and nuts creates a delicious, sweet breakfast bowl which can be enjoyed hot or cold. It can even be used in stews, yogurt dishes, puddings and even cakes[7].

Staying Super

Though the list of Superfoods can often seem intimidating, with the many options available for preparing said foods, it’s easier than ever to maintain a healthy lifestyle while still enjoying meals. For instance, if you simply add strawberries and cherries to the breakfast Freekeh mentioned earlier, you’re fueling your body with three Superfoods first thing in the morning. And if you add Kale and Spinach to the Freekeh salad idea, you’ve just added two Superfoods without any effort. Don’t be afraid to change your routine and substitute certain Superfoods, like Quinoa, with Freekeh. You may find recipes you can’t live without!

Reference

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Heather Poole

Heather shares about everyday lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

How To Find Your Personal Values For Living a Fulfilling Life The 7 Types of Learners: What Kind of Learner Am I? What If All the Choices You Make Every Day Aren’t What You Need Most? What To Eat (And Not To Eat) When You Are Suffering From Inflammation! Yes Life Can Be Boring Sometimes. But There’re Some Tricks to Make It More Interesting

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Last Updated on September 15, 2020

4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

Life changes are constant. Whether it’s in the workplace or our relationships, nothing in life ever remains the same for long.

Regardless of the gravity of change, it can always be a little scary. So scary, in fact, that some people are downright crippled by the idea of it, causing them to remain stagnant through anxiety.

Have you ever noticed how much of life’s transitional periods are riddled with anxious vibes? The quarter life crisis, the mid-life crisis, cold feet before getting married, retirement anxiety, and teenage angst are just a few examples of transitional periods when people tend to panic.

We can’t control every aspect of our lives, and we can’t stop change from happening. However, how we respond to change will greatly affect our overall life experience.

Here are 4 ways you can approach life changes in a positive way.

1. Don’t Fight It

I once heard one of my favorite yoga instructors say “Suffering is what occurs when we resist what is already happening.” The lesson has stuck with me ever since.

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Life changes are usually out of our control. Rather than trying to manipulate the situation and wishing things were different, try flowing with it instead.

Of course, some initial resistance is natural if we’re going into survival mode. Just make sure you are conscious of when this resistance is no longer serving you.

If you’re feeling anxious about impending life changes, it’s time to practice some techniques to address the anxiety directly. These can include meditation, exercise, talking with friends about how you’re feeling, or journaling.

If you’re worried about a big life change, such as starting a new job[1] or moving in with your partner, do your best to control your expectations. It may help you to talk with people you know about their experiences going through similar changes. This will help you form a realistic picture in your mind of what things will look like post-change.

2. Find Healthy Ways to Deal With Feelings

Whenever we’re in transitional periods, it can be easy to lose track of ourselves. Sometimes we feel like we’re being tossed about by life and like we’ve lost our footing, causing some very uncomfortable feelings to arise.

One way we can channel these feelings is by finding healthy ways to release them. For instance, whenever I find myself in a difficult transitional phase, I end up in a mixed martial arts studio.

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The physical activity helps me channel my emotions and release endorphins. It also helps me get in shape, which generally increases my mood and energy levels.

Exercise is important in cultivating positive emotions, but if you’re struggling with anxiety in particular, it’s important to cultivate a regular exercise routine as opposed to a one-off workout. One study found that “Aerobic exercise can promote increase in anxiety acutely and regular aerobic exercise promotes reduction in anxiety levels”[2].

If exercise isn’t your thing, there are other, less intense ways of cultivating positive emotions and reducing anxiety around life changes. You can try stretching, meditating, reading in nature, spending time with family and friends, or cooking a healthy meal.

Find what makes you feel good and helps you ground yourself in the present moment.

3. Reframe Your Perspective

Reframing perspectives is a very powerful tool used in life coaching. It helps clients take a situation they are struggling with, such as a major life change, and find some sort of empowerment in it.

Some examples of disempowered thinking during life changes include casting blame, focusing on negative details, or victimizing[3]. These perspectives can make awkward transitional phases much worse than they have to be.

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Meanwhile, if we utilize a more positive perspective, such as finding a lesson in the situation, realizing that there may be an opportunity for something, or that everything passes, we can come from a greater place of ease.

4. Find Time for Self-Reflection

Having time to reflect is important at any stage in your life, but it’s especially important during transitional periods. It’s quite simple really: we need our time to step back and get centered when things get a little crazy.

As a result, big life changes are perfect for doing some self-reflection. They are opportunities to check in with ourselves and practice getting grounded for a few minutes.

Take a look at this reflective cycle adapted from Glibb’s Self-reflection guide (1988):[4]

Use self-reflection when facing life changes.

    Self-reflective exercises include meditating, yoga or journaling,[5] all of which require some quiet time to get yourself together.

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    One study found that journal improves “self-efficacy, locus of control, and learning”[6]. A healthy sense of self-control can make the process of change easier to bear, so that in itself is a great reason to try self-reflection through journaling.

    To learn how to start journaling, you can check out this article.

    Final Thoughts

    Big life changes may rock us for a little while, but they don’t have to be as bad as we initially perceive them. If handled in a positive manner, transitional periods can pave the way for some serious self-growth, reflection, and awareness.

    Cultivate a sense of positivity and find ways to diminish the anxiety around life changes. Once you make it to the other side, you’ll be grateful that you made it through in the best way possible.

    More Tips on Facing Life Changes

    Featured photo credit: Alora Griffiths via unsplash.com

    Reference

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