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Freekeh is Probably The New Quinoa! See why!

Freekeh is Probably The New Quinoa! See why!

Freekeh is the “new” supergrain that has actually been around since the ancient times. We have just begun to tackle its numerous nutrition benefits, and it might just take quinoas place on the throne. Why? Well, it has more proteins and twice as much fiber than quinoa, thus you will feel full longer. In addition to being rich in proteins and fiber, it has many other health benefits.

So, what it is? Freekeh is actually a wheat that is harvested before it’s ripe, while the seeds are still green and soft thus retaining many of its nutrients. After it’s been harvested, it is dried in the sun and then carefully burned to remove the straw and chaff, leaving only the grain that has a slightly smoky and nutty taste.

Freekeh has been popular in Mediterranean and Middle East for a long time now, and its popularity has begun spreading due to its numerous benefits. This wheat improves your digestive health and due to its low glycaemic index, it can help manage and prevent type 2 diabetes.

Freekeh is full of healthy nutrients

    Freekeh is full of proteins, fibers, vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc. 100 grams of freekeh contains [1]:

    • 14.9 g of protein
    • 12.9 g of fiber
    • 31 mg of zinc
    • 32 mg of iron
    • 370 mg of calcium

    It also contains magnesium and potassium, it has low fat content and it’s considered a low-carb food. If we take a look at the nutrition profile of quinoa [2], we can see why freekeh is the new superfood – in 100 grams of quinoa, there are 8 grams of protein and 5.2 grams of fiber, compared to 14.9 grams of protein and 12.9 grams of fiber in 100 grams of freekeh.

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    100 grams of quinoa contains:

    • 8 g of protein
    • 5.2 g of fiber
    • 2 mg of zinc
    • 2.8 mg of iron
    • 31.5 mg of calcium

    Freekeh improves your digestive health

    Freekeh contains prebiotics that help the growth of healthy bacteria in your bowl system that can be beneficial for people suffering from various digestive problems such as diarrhea, leaky gut syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and candida virus.

    According to a study conducted by CSIRO [3], the consumption of freekeh was beneficial in improving bowel health and in improving conditions such as constipation. It may also result in diminishing the risk for developing diseases such as colorectal cancer.

    Freekeh may help prevent and control type 2 diabetes

    Freekeh has low glycemic index, which means it causes low rise in blood sugar levels. Another study conducted by CSIRO [4]indicated that the consumption of freekeh resulted in a low insulin response, which further suggests its benefits for patients suffering from type 2 diabetes.

    Freekeh is good for your muscles

    One serving of freekeh has around 2.27 grams of glutamic acid. So, why is glutamic acid important for our muscles? When we are physically active, the demand for glutamic acid increases as it is necessary for building and maintaining muscles. Thus, freekeh is the type of food that can help you increase the intake of glutamic acid and build endurance.

    Freekeh is beneficial for your eyes

    Freekeh contains the antioxidant lutein, which is especially beneficial for eyes in terms of preventing age-related eye degeneration, as suggested by the research at the University of Adelaide [5].

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    Freekeh helps with weight controls

    As mentioned earlier, freekeh is quite high in proteins – 12.9 grams in 100 grams of freekeh. Having that much fiber, freekeh will make you feel full for a longer period of time, thus helping you avoid eating snacks in between meals.

    Are there any side effects to taking freekeh?

    There are no known side effects of freekeh, except that is not recommended for people who are sensitive to gluten, as this wheat contains it.

    Wholegrain or cracked freekeh?

    You can find freekeh in two different varieties: wholegrain and cracked. The only difference between these two varieties is that the cracked version has been broken down into smaller pieces, which makes the cooking process faster. The cracked freekeh has a slightly different texture, similar to quinoa or bulgur. You can choose the wholegrain or cracked variety based on your preferences or the texture you want to achieve when preparing a meal.

    Delicious freekeh recipes

    If you are not sure how to cook freekeh, we give you some healthy and delicious recipes to try and make at home.

    Butternut and cranberry freekeh salad

      Image source: Taste Love and Nourish

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      Even though this is a salad, as freekeh is so packed with proteins, this salad can actually be a complete meal. Butternut and cranberry are a great combination of flavors and add a true splash of color into this salad. It is rather easy to make, and you can bring the leftovers as a healthy lunch at work.

      Easy Mexican freekeh pilaf

        Image source: Vegan Family Recipes

        Full of healthy colorful vegetables and easy to make, the whole family will enjoy eating this pilaf. It is ideal to prepare when you are busy as it will take only 10 minutes to prepare, and then you leave it to cook.

        Freekeh, zucchini and pistachio salad

          Image source: Oh My Veggies

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          This is another great and healthy recipe for all salad lovers. The preparation process is rather simple and not time consuming, with a simple, yet tasteful fresh lemon juice and olive oil dressing. You can also add other vegetables according to your preferences.

          Freekehlicious Pumpkin and Chocolate Scones

            If you love sweets that are both healthy and delicious, this is the perfect recipe for you. This is a healthy treat full of fiber, protein and calcium.

            Lemon coconut freekeh cookies

              Image source: A Whisk and Two Wands

              Healthy and mouthful bites that you can eat as a snack. They are crunchy and will really make you feel full.

              Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/ via pixabay.com

              Reference

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              Ana Erkic

              Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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              Last Updated on September 28, 2020

              The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

              The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

              At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

              Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

              One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

              When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

              So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

              Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

              This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

              Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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              When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

              Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

              One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

              Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

              An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

              When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

              Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

              Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

              We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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              By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

              Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

              While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

              I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

              You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

              Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

              When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

              Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

              Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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              Con #2: Less Human Interaction

              One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

              Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

              Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

              This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

              While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

              Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

              Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

              This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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              For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

              Con #4: Unique Distractions

              Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

              For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

              To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

              Final Thoughts

              Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

              We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

              More About Working From Home

              Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

              Reference

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