Grains considered in Ayurveda as the most important part of a healthy diet. They are sweet in taste, unctuous, easily digestible. Grains help to build tissue, nutritive, good for debility. (Source #Ashtanga Hrdayam. Su. 6)
It's all about whole grains. Pastries, especially with refined flour and sugar, are difficult to digest. They produce mucus, cause heaviness, and sluggishness. Bread made with yeast can cause bloating. Chapatis, tortillas, matzo, etc. are better than yeast bread. Noodles and pasta from whole grains are good.
Cut or ground into a meal, grains will lose their nutritional properties in six months to a year. But they're much easier and quicker to cook.
Dried such granola, cereal they are likely to increase dryness and can aggravate Vata Dosha.
The best way to take grains is steaming or boiling.
Grains can be combined with many different foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, dairy, or animal products. Make sure the food taken with grains can be combined with each other to avoid indigestion.
Barley is dry, cold in potency, diuretic. It gives stamina, reduces disorders of urine, body fat, chronic nasal catarrh, cough, diseases of the throats, and skin. It is strengthening, stabilizing, heals infections, and removes toxins.
Buckwheat is heating and drying and has lesser nutritive properties than other grains. But still, it's an important food. We can use it as part of detoxification when there are sluggishness and heaviness, a drop in energy, etc.
Corn is sweet, hot, and drying (in excess or taken in form of chips). It is diuretic therefore good for edema and kidney disorders, gallstones, and jaundice. Corn helps to increase the power of perception particularly if taken with ghee.
Millet is sweet and cold. It's demulcent, diuretic, nutritive. It is full of protein and nutrition therefore good for debility and convalescence, but yet more difficult for digestion.
Oats are sweet and little cool, demulcent, laxative, and very strengthening. They help build up tissues, including reproductive tissue. Oats calm and strengthening the mind, nerves. They can be heavy and hard to digest, particularly taken with milk and sugar. May produce skin eruptions and aggravate toxic blood conditions.
Quinoa is a high protein grain that us light in properties. May aggravate Vata.
Rice is sweet, neutral, easy to digest therefore useful in vomiting, anorexia, inability to digest food. It is tonic, nutritive, demulcent, laxative, and harmonizing the stomach and lungs. Rice builds up all tissue, good for convalescence, debility, for breaking fats. Bleached and refined white rice tends to be sticky in nature, cause sluggishness, heaviness. White basmati rice is best as it is nutritious, yet is easily digested. Brown rice is warm, has more nutrients, but it is harder to digest and doesn't combine well with other foods. Therefore brown rice better for debility (digestion should be good). It's better to avoid brown rice in hyperacidity, ulcers.
Rye is sweat and cool. It has diuretic properties. Considered as the best grains for weight loss, heaviness, sluggishness, and other Kapha conditions.
Wheat is sweet and cool. It's nutritive, promotes growth in children, helps build muscles, gives energy, heals fracture. Wheat is strengthening the heart, relieves palpitations, and helps calm the mind, counters insomnia. Good for ulcers, colitis, hemorrhoids. It is better for cold climates and the winter season. Whole wheat restores health and alleviates Vata. It can increase mucus and congestion therefore avoid in Kapha aggravation (Kapha types usually allergic to it).