Quinoa, which is native to the Andes, comes in red and white. It is one of the only plant foods that is a complete protein, meaning it has balanced quantities of 9 essential amino acids
The cradle of corn is southern Mexico, where scientists found milling tools with maize residue dating back almost 9,000 years. Cornmeal, which has a fraction of the calories of other grains, is also sometimes labeled “polenta.”
Chewy and nutty wild rice, which has fewer carbs and more protein than brown rice, is actually not a rice, but an aquatic grass grown extensively in the Midwest around the Great Lakes.
Grown as an ornamental for its pretty blooms as well as for its grains, amaranth is a boon for vegetarians because it’s high in both iron and zinc, nutrients that can be tough to get in a vegetarian diet.