Whole Grains Instead of Drugs?
Evidence acknowledging the benefits of including whole, intact grains in our diets continues to increase. A recent study revealed that consuming just three servings of whole grains a day achieves the same benefits as taking blood pressure medications. According to Dr. Michael Greger's above video, consuming whole grains "...appears as powerful as high blood pressure medications in alleviating hypertension. The observed decrease in systolic blood pressure could decrease the incidence of coronary artery disease and stroke by 15% and 25%, respectively."
Of course, whole intact grains provide the greatest protection. Once a grain has been refined, up to 80% of its beneficial compounds have been stripped away, leaving a product which can promote illness. Additional benefits from eating whole unprocessed grains include lower cholesterol, stabilized glucose levels, gastro-intestinal health, weight management, improved immune function, cancer and disease prevention, and lower diabetes risk.
Nutritional Profile of Grains - Source: Dr. T. Colin Campbell - Center for Nutrition Studies
Grains are the seeds of plants, and whole grain foods include all three parts:
Bran – forms the outer layer of the seed and contains fiber, B vitamins, minerals (magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, selenium, copper) and phytochemicals
Endosperm – is the kernel and bulk of the seed containing complex carbohydrates, protein and B vitamins
Germ – produces the sprout and contains B vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin), vitamin E, minerals, unsaturated fats, phytochemicals and antioxidants.
Other nutrients in whole grains include: tocopherols, beta-carotene, vitamin C, folate, glutamine, phytoestrogens, lignans, flavonoids, oligosaccharides, inositol, phenolics, saponins, lectins, and protease and amylase inhibitors.
For more information regarding the health benefits from whole grains, click on the links below: