5 Compelling Reasons to Add Farro to Your Diet



Farro, which is not to be confused with Pharoah, is a type of wheat that has earned the status of an ancient grain. There’s lots of hype around ancient grains, but they have perks that make them a worthy addition to your diet. Like most whole grains, farro is versatile too. You’ll enjoy it for its rich, nutty flavor, but the health and nutritional benefits are nothing to sneeze at either.

There are three types of grains referred to as farro: einkorn, spelt, and emmer wheat. Consequently, when you buy farro, you could be getting any one of three grains. However, the type of farro most common in the US is emmer wheat.

Why is farro attracting attention these days? Along with the nutrients in this hearty ancient grain, the carbohydrates farro contains are the slow-digested variety that won’t send your blood glucose on a roller coaster ride, as refined grains will. Let’s look at how it stacks up nutritionally and 6 reasons to add farro to your next meal and what benefits you can expect.

Nutritional Analysis:

A quarter cup of farro:

  • 150 calories
  • 6 grams of plant-based protein
  • 3 grams of fiber
  • 32 grams of slowly absorbed carbohydrates
  • Vitamins: Vitamins A, B, C, and E
  • Minerals: Iron and calcium

Farro is Satiating

When you eat a plate of white pasta or white rice, you won’t feel as full as you expected. Switch that shimmery white rice for farro and you’ll reduce hunger faster and feel satisfied for hours longer. Farro is one of the highest-fiber grains with 3 grams of fiber in a quarter cup and 6 grams of muscle-building protein. The combination of fiber and protein is magical for making your tummy feel full.

Farro Offers Sustained Energy

As mentioned, the carbohydrates in farro digest and absorb slowly, so you’re less likely to get a blood glucose surge compared to eating refined grains. That’s better for your metabolic health but also gives more sustainable energy. Your blood sugar rises more slowly and falls less precipitously compared to eating a rapidly absorbed carbohydrate like white rice or white pasta. If you have a busy schedule, farro will keep you feeling energized longer. Farro is also an excellent pre-workout food when you need a sustained source of energy.

Digestive Health Benefits of Farro

White rice is stripped of its fiber, making it a less compelling source of energy for the tiny bacteria in your gut that maintain digestive health and keep your gut microbiome diverse. The main fiber in farro is insoluble, the type that increases stool bulk and helps avoid constipation. However, some fiber in farro is fermentable, the type bacteria greedily consume to stay healthy and keep your gut microbiome in top shape. White rice won’t do that for you! Farro is a more nutritious and microbiome-friendly alternative to white rice.

Farro is a Source of Antioxidants

Every cell in your body sustains oxidative damage daily. Over time, the onslaught of oxidative stress can lead to cell damage that a cell can’t repair. The best defense against oxidative stress is antioxidants, compounds that help stabilize free radicals, the rogue molecules that cause the damage. Free-radical fighters or antioxidants are available in many plant-based foods.

Farro contains an abundance of diverse antioxidants, including vitamin E, and antioxidant vitamin that reduces oxidative damage and fights inflammation, and polyphenols, antioxidants present in other foods such as green tea, dark chocolate, fruits, spices. and vegetables. Antioxidants also help fight inflammation. That’s important since most diseases have an inflammatory component, including cardiovascular disease.

Farro is Heart-Healthy

Knowing that farro is packed with fiber, you might wonder if it benefits heart health. The soluble fiber component of farro helps lower LDL cholesterol, the type associated with cardiovascular disease. Studies show that whole grains are an important part of a heart-healthy diet, along with other plant-based foods, like fruits and vegetables. Plus, the anti-inflammatory benefits of farro may play a role in preventing cardiovascular disease.

What Type of Farro Should You Choose?

Buying farro isn’t as simple as going to the supermarket and grabbing the first package of the ancient grain you see. It comes in various forms: pearled, semi-pearled, and whole farro. What’s the best option?

Whole farro retains all its bran, the outermost component of the grain that contains the most nutrients and fiber. However, whole farro takes the longest to cook, so it’s a bit more labor-intensive. Semi-pearled and pearled fibers have had varying amounts of their bran removed but cook faster than whole farro. Pearled fiber is the quickest and most convenient but is the least nutritious and has the lowest fiber content.

Although whole farro sounds intimidating, you can shorten the cooking time by soaking it in water overnight to soften the bran before cooking it. After preparing farro, you can add it to salads or make a tasty pilaf from the grain. Add it to your next protein bowl, along with your choice of vegetables for a plant-based meal.

The Bottom Line

Farro is an ancient grain extraordinaire. It can be a healthy addition to your diet, but it’s off-limits if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity since it’s a form of gluten-containing wheat. But if you’re not sensitive to gluten, it’s a nutritious and satisfying grain you can add to your plate. You can find a variety of recipes online to make farro in unique and creative ways.



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“What is farro? Learn about this grain and its nutritional ….” 23 Mar. 2021, .medicalnewstoday.com/articles/what-is-farro.

“Farro: Health Benefits, Nutrients per Serving, Preparation ….” .webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-farro.

WebMD.com. “Health Benefits of Farro”

“Polyphenols Food List: Seasonings, Berries, and More.” 23 May. 2017, https://www.healthline.com/health/polyphenols-foods.

“Inflammation and Heart Disease | American Heart Association.” https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/consumer-healthcare/what-is-cardiovascular-disease/inflammation-and-heart-disease.

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