Farro is an ancient wheat grain similar to barley or spelt. In fact, it’s similar enough to these products it’s often mistaken for them. Farro, being an ancient grain, has long history. This particular grain dates back to the ancient Roman Empire. And with so many ancient grains quickly gaining popularity, you may have already heard of this hearty variety. Farro has nutty taste and is loaded with fiber, protein and other heart-healthy nutrients. It can be used in soups, salads and other foods as an alternative to rice, quinoa, buckwheat, barley and other grains. Furthermore, this grain is absolutely jam-packed with health benefits! Farro benefits include, for example, the ability to improve digestion, strengthen the immune system and provide the body with essential nutrients. Learn more about this ancient grain by reading the full list of benefits below!
1. Provides the Body with Fiber
Farro benefits include the ability to provide the body with a steady source of fiber. In fact, just a half serving of farro has four times the amount of fiber as does a piece of white bread or serving of white rice. And, as you might have heard, fiber is so very important for your health!
For example, the body utilizes fiber to prevent blood sugar dips and spikes, and to ensure that the digestive system runs smoothly. Farro benefits the body as an unprocessed grain. Along with fiber, it also contains protein and other nutrients that work to produce a feeling of satiety. The fiber in farro can help prevent constipation, diarrhea and other digestive issues.
2. Provides the Body with Protein
When it comes to protein, many people mistakenly think the only sources are animals. But the truth, of course, is that animals are not the only source of protein. Some of the more savvy individuals will know that beans and legumes are also great sources. And yet some may be surprised to learn that some grains contain a good amount of protein. Farro is one of those grains.
Indeed, farro benefits include the ability to provide the body with plant-based protein. It contains, in fact, about the same amount of protein per serving as most beans and legumes. As a source of plant protein, farro may be especially beneficial for vegans and vegetarians who have cut meat proteins out of their diets. Paired with vegetables, farro is a complete plant-based source of protein.
3. Improves Heart Health and Immunity
Farro benefits include improved heart health and a strengthened immune system. It contains antioxidants and phenolic compounds that help protect the body from disease. Studies have shown that whole grains like farro offer protection from chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Farro benefits the immune system by lowering inflammation levels, regulating blood sugar levels and lowering cholesterol. (1)
Farro makes an excellent replacement for refined grains or pieces of meat in several dishes. This is because it’s a heart-healthy option that is both high in fiber as well as protein. Farro will add bulk to your favorite meals, and will help fill you up, all while improving the health of your heart!
4. Provides the Body with B Vitamins
Farro benefits include the ability to provide the body with a steady source of B vitamins. This includes vitamin B3, or niacin, as well as B2 or riboflavin. B vitamins play a crucial role in brain health, neurotransmitter function, and central nervous system function. B2, or riboflavin, is important for development, reproductive capabilities, and the conversion of carbs. B2 also prevents acne, boosts immunity, and improves the digestion process. Additionally, the body uses Vitamin B3, or niacin, to maintain metabolic health and convert carbohydrates, fat, and protein into energy. (2)
A niacin deficiency can lead to a wealth of unpleasant symptoms. For example, if you aren’t getting enough niacin, or vitamin B3, you may experience the following:
- Memory loss and mental confusion
- Skin issues, such as acne
Meanwhile, a niacin or vitamin B2 deficiency may manifest itself with the following symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Redness and swelling on the sides of the mouth
- Cracks and sores on lips
- Inflammation and redness of the tongue
If any of the above lists of symptoms sound familiar, you may have a vitamin B deficiency. Try adding farro to your diet on a regular basis.
5. Provides the Body with Antioxidants
What is the first kind of food you think of when you think of antioxidants? You likely answered fruits or vegetables. While it’s true that fruits and veggies are great sources of antioxidants, they aren’t the only game in town! Unprocessed grains are also fantastic sources of antioxidants. Farro is a high-antioxidant food full of plant lignans. Plant lignans help reduce inflammation in the body to improve heart health and longevity. Studies have shown that farro benefits include the ability to lower cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, thanks to the protective effects of plant lignans. (3) You’ll find that those who eat a traditional Mediterranean diet may live longer and will have less heart-related issues. This is because this kind of diet is rich in plant lignans.
6. Provides the Body with Iron, Zinc and Magnesium
Farro benefits include the ability to provide the body with essential nutrients that are important for overall health, including iron, zinc and magnesium. Iron helps fight anemia and improve energy levels, while zinc plays an important role in brain function and cellular function. Magnesium works to prevent muscle cramps, fight insomnia, reduce headaches and improve digestion.
This is especially important for those who eat a plant-based diet. You can’t just fill up on greens and fruits and expect to be healthy–it’ll catch up with you! When you eat a vegan or plant-based diet, it’s crucial to make sure you eat a wide variety of of plants. This is because it can be all too easy to be deficient in these and other vitamins when following a plant-based diet. However, adding farro to your diet can help ensure you are getting enough iron, zinc, and magnesium.