The four types of grains are cereals, legumes, pseudocereals and oilseeds. Grains are essential to a balanced diet, and Real Simple suggests including whole grains, such as barley, bulgur, farro, kasha, quinoa and wheat berries into daily meals to protect against heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Grains that fall into the legume category, also known as the pea family, include soybeans, chickpeas, lima beans, runner beans, lentils, peanuts and common beans. Some examples of psuedocereals, which are starchy and come from broad-leafed plants, include buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa.
Other grains are part of the oilseeds category and are grown for their oils, such as canola, safflower and sunflower seeds. Grains that do not fall into one of the previous families include flax seeds, hemp seeds, and poppy seeds.
Uncoooked grains store well when kept in airtight containers, away from light and in a dry place. The agriculture industry has developed methods to easily harvest, store, and transport grains around the world. Commodities markets deal with grains because of their relatively long shelf life and value on the international food market. In the commodities exchanges, grains are preferable to moist and starchy crops like fruits and root vegetables because they are easier to handle and transport.