Grains 101 - Which Are Best and How to Cook Them

Whole grains are a key part of any well-balanced Doman Method Nutrition Program.  These carbohydrates are a great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals that our body and brain needs to function at its optimal level.  Some grains are also a great source of protein and can be beneficial for our families who are on a vegetarian diet.

As part of the Doman Method Program, our families are encouraged to cut all gluten grains out of the diet completely to make sure the digestion is optimal, and to make sure that certain issues, like abnormal behaviors, are not aggravated.  The following are gluten grains:

  • Wheat

  • Spelt

  • Kamut

  • Freekah

  • Semolina

  • Farro

  • Durum Wheat

  • Bulgur Wheat

  • Rye

  • Barley

It seems like that doesn’t leave a lot of options, right?  However, there are lots of great and healthier options for gluten free grains.  Here’s a full list of all gluten free grains:

  • Millet

  • Buckwheat

  • Teff

  • Amaranth

  • Rice (all colors, and wild)

  • Quinoa

  • Sorghum

  • Oat

  • Corn

  • Hato Mugi (Job’s Tears)

Of the gluten free grains there are two you do need to be careful of: oats are technically gluten free, but because they are processed in wheat factories the cross contamination is really strong.  Therefore, it’s important that the package says the oats are gluten free. Corn is also technically gluten free. However, this food is also eliminated for the Doman Method diet due to the fact it’s highly GMO and more susceptible to fungi growth.  If your child has any digestive issues, small or large, best to steer clear from corn.

For many families on the program, simply eliminating gluten grains and giving whole sources of gluten free grains they can see the positive changes in their child - constipation is eliminated, brain fog clears, behavior improves, etc.  However, for many children on the program this isn’t enough.

For children who continue to have constipation, dysbiosis, loose stools, gas, etc. additional soaking of grains can be very beneficial.  Not only does it make it easier for the body to digest whole grains, it also gets rid of mineral-leaching phytic acid. Each grain may have a little or a lot of phytic acid.  Although known as an antioxidant, phytic acid can also deplete the body of calcium, zinc, and iron.

Soaking is one of those extra steps that doesn’t take a lot of time, and is easy to do.  Here are the steps to soaking your grains before cooking:

  1. Place dry grains in a glass bowl and cover with warm water

  2. Add some acidic agent to the water (lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or coconut kefir).  Ideally it should be around 15mL (1 tbsp) of acidic agent for every 250mL (1 cup) of warm water.  The acidic agent helps further the release of phytic acid.

  3. Soak for up to 12 hours, sometimes more!

  4. After soaking is complete, rinse grains quickly and then cook as usual.  This final step is not absolutely necessary, as phytic acid will have been removed at this point, but can help with the flavor of the grains.

The above recommendations will not only benefit your brain injured child, but the whole family!  It is very simple changes like this one that can yield great results with regards to your child’s health and development.  Feel free to comment below on how a gluten free lifestyle has helped your child!