Protect your heart with whole grains
(NaturalHealth365) Can you really prevent a heart attack by eating brown rice or quinoa? Hundreds of scientific studies prove that you can reduce the risk of hypertension and heart attacks by eating whole grains on a regular basis. Keep in mind, if your local cardiologist doesn’t know about these studies – it may be time to hire a new physician.
A 3-year prospective study of over 200 postmenopausal women with cardiovascular disease (CVD), published in the American Heart Journal, revealed that women eating at least 6 serving of whole grains each week, slowed the build-up of plaque in the arteries, and slowed the rate of stenosis – a narrowing of the arteries.
The Physicians Health Study which ran for 19.6 years found than men who enjoyed a bowl of whole grain cereal (unrefined) had about a 30 percent lower risk of heart failure. All of this, without the negative side effects associated with typical heart medications.
Whole grains pack a powerful (nutritional) punch
According to The International Study on Allergy and Asthma in Childhood 2 (ISAAC-2), “an increased consumption of whole grains and fish could reduce the risk of developing asthma by about 50 percent”. Eating whole grains has also been linked to a reduction of risk in pre and post-menopausal breast cancer, along with colon cancer.
Today, let’s look at 5 nutritious grains…
Can spelt lower your cholesterol?
Yes! Spelt, an ancient grain widely recognized for its many health benefits is a cousin to regular wheat. Actually, spelt has 30 percent more protein than wheat and is usually well-tolerated by wheat sensitive individuals. The nutritional daily value of 4 ounces is: manganese 106 percent; fiber 30.2 percent; plus much more – including protein 21.3 percent.
Eating foods high in insoluble fiber, such as spelt, helped women avoid gallstones, according to a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. Research reported at the American Institute for Cancer Research Conference on Food, Nutrition and Cancer Research, showed that whole grains, such as spelt contained many powerful phytonutrients.
A UK Women’s Cohort study looked at about 36,000 participants and found a diet in whole grains, including spelt, along with fruit offered significant protection against breast cancer for pre-menopausal women.
Buckwheat is great for diabetics
Not to be confused with “wheat”, if you’re looking to remain gluten-free – buckwheat is a great choice. Researchers from Slovenia and Sweden found all buckwheat products lowered (after meal) glucose levels and scored high on keeping people satisfied after eating. By keeping hunger pangs away – it helps people maintain a healthy body weight.
Quinoa is a great source of protein for vegetarians
Quinoa has all the essential amino acids required by the body. It out paces rice, millet and wheat for the amount of protein it provides.
Quinoa is high in riboflavin which improves the energy metabolism in both the brain and muscle cells. Inca warriors ate quinoa seeds to improve their stamina and recovery time after battles. In ancient times, it was considered a power food.
Low on the glycemic index, quinoa is a great source of manganese and magnesium, while being low in calories. Interestingly, quinoa has genistein, quercetin, and kaempferol – all of which can inhibit new blood vessel growth, which in turn suppresses the proliferation of cancer cell growth.
Is Amaranth really a grain?
No. Actually, this ancient “grain” of the Aztecs, is technically the fruit of a plant and that is why it contains a more complete protein. Compared to other grains, amaranth is much richer in iron, magnesium and calcium – which explains why many natural healthcare providers recommend amaranth to keep anemia and osteoporosis at bay.
The Aztecs called it “food of immortality” and in India it is a much revered food. Regular use of amaranth prevents vitamin A, B1, and C, calcium, iron and potassium deficiencies.
The beauty of Barley
Barley contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. It’s the soluble fiber that lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease. It also slows the absorption of sugar and reduces the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. The insoluble fiber keeps the digestive system clean and healthy.
Barley is a good source of niacin, thiamine, selenium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and copper.
The list of whole grains isn’t complete without recognizing oats, rye, corn, and whole wheat. Obviously, it’s important to always by organic to avoid (unwanted) chemicals and, for beginners, I suggest you get a good cookbook. Try something new and enjoy!
About the author: Blanche Levine has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She has the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in natural healing including Naturopaths, scientist and energy healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.
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