Ancient grains have been around for thousands of years, long before they were used to drive up sales in the cereal aisles. The ancient Egyptians baked bread from farro wheat, and the now trendy chia was grown by the Aztecs. But do these exotic grains have health benefits that surpass modern wheat?
The Oldways Whole Grains Council describes ancient grains as whole grains that have remained free of changes for hundreds of years. Unlike modern wheat, which has undergone many changes to meet production needs, ancient grains have not been subjected to any wheat breeding or changes.
However, all whole grains (apart from modern wheat), and some heirloom varieties of whole grains, are considered ancient grains. In fact, while the term ancient grain evokes feelings of nostalgia for a time when grains were grown without chemicals, the term doesn't really mean much. It is not used as a technical term by scientists, including nutrition professionals.