Common Types of Grains in English You Should Know

Most people in the world eat grains as a staple in their daily diet; they are an important part of a healthy diet and are used to make many food products.  If you’re considering a replacement for flour in your next recipe, consider one of the many different types of grains available today.

Many grains are high in protein which is especially important in vegetarian diets. Grain products can be broken down into fine flour, which is used to make bread, pasta, and cereal among other items.

What Are Grains?

Grains refer to the edible seeds of cereal grass. They are plant products in which the whole, crushed, or ground grain is used as food. Cereals like wheat, oats, rice, and maize (corn) are often referred to as grains.

To extract and store these precious ingredients, grains are processed into food products such as bread, cereal (granola), crackers, breakfast bars, and pasta. Grain processing is also used to create various alcoholic beverages such as beer, whiskeys (e.g., bourbon), and wine.

Types of Grains Pin

Types of Grains

Different Types of Grains

The Wheat Family

  • Wheat
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Spelt
  • Kamut (Khorasan wheat)

The Barley Family

  • Barley
  • Amaranth
  • Faba beans/ broad beans (fava beans)
  • Buckwheat

The Rice Family

  • Rice
  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice

The Corn Family

  • Corn
  • Maize
  • Polenta
  • Grits

Oats Family

  • Oats

List of Grains

  • Durum
  • Emmer/ farrow
  • Einkorn
  • Wheat
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Spelt
  • Kamut
  • Amaranth
  • Faba beans/ broad beans
  • Buckwheat
  • Rice
  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice
  • Corn
  • Polenta
  • Grits
  • Oats
  • Freekeh
  • Millet
  • Sorghum
  • Teff
  • Triticale
  • Quinoa
  • Bulgur
  • Fonio
  • Arborio rice
  • Basmati rice
  • Jasmin rice

Common Types of Grains with Facts

Here are some of the many different types of grains that can be found on grocery store shelves today:


A gluten-free, high-protein grain that is often used as a replacement for rice or wheat flour in recipes; Amaranth has an earthy flavor and is popular in pesto sauces, side dishes, and baked goods.

Amaranth Pin


A cooked grain that is often used in soups, stews, and salads. Whole barley is higher in fiber than pearled barley and is best soaked before cooking to reduce its cooking time.

Barley Pin


A gluten free, high-protein grain that is often used as a replacement for rice or wheat flour in recipes; Buckwheat has a strong flavor and most commonly appears in pancakes, crepes, and other breakfast dishes.

Buckwheat Pin


A whole wheat grain that is parboiled and dried before packaging. When it’s reconstituted, bulgur can be used in breakfast dishes, side dishes, pilafs, and stuffings.

Bulgur Pin


A grain that can grow in many types of climates and can be eaten fresh, boiled, roasted, ground into cornmeal, or used to make cornbread.

Corn Pin


A cereal grain that has a distinctive dark color and is often compared with brown rice. Millet contains calcium and iron; millet is commonly used in soups and side dishes.

Millet Pin


Oats are popular in baking cookies, and in hot cereals. Oats contain beta-glucan, the chemical properties allow oats to lower blood cholesterol levels and may play a role in lowering heart disease risk.

Oats Pin


The seed of an aquatic grass. Rice contains some amino acids and vitamins, it is a common grain eaten in many countries.

Rice Pin


Spelt contains gluten; it is a wheat-free, healthy grain with a nutty flavor. Spelt is commonly used in breads, pastas, and salad dressings like vinaigrette.

Spelt Pin


A cereal grain that can be eaten either raw or cooked; wheat is a staple for most of the world’s population; it can be ground into flour for bread or pasta made from wheat flour.

Wheat Pin


A cereal grain that can be eaten raw or cooked. Rye can be used in breads and has a distinctive flavor.

Rye Pin


A cereal grain that has been cultivated in Africa for thousands of years and has recently become popular in the United States. Sorghum grains are small, sweet and contain calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and vitamin B1– it is also high in protein.

Sorghum Pin

There are many good reasons to include grains in your daily diet, and today, there are many types of grains available to meet your individual nutritional needs. If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to commonly used flours and starches, consider the many different types of grains available.

These grains can be ground and made into flour, which is used to make bread, porridge, puddings, cakes and a number of other foods. Their benefits are endless!

Last Updated on November 3, 2023

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