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Whole Grains and How They Help You to Stay Healthy

Aug 18, 2007
Whole grains are rightly touted as one of the best sources of fiber. Whole grains should be a part of every individual's daily diet, as they are extremely beneficial to health for a multitude of reasons.

If you are not getting enough whole grains in your diet, or if you are still consuming white bread and pasta products made with refined flour instead, then stop and think twice about what you are doing. To optimize your health, switch to whole grains and start reaping the benefits of doing so!

The absolute best sources of whole grains include such things as barley, oats, rye and wheat. These grains consist of the seeds of a plant and contained in it is the outer shell, the middle shell and the inner section. The outer shell is referred to as the bran while the middle section is the endosperm and the inner section is known as the germ.

Whole grains products whether they be bread, rice, pasta, cereal and other products are excellent sources of a number of vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, folate, chromium, copper, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and zinc. Folate is responsible for reducing the levels of an amino acid called homocysteine that exists in the bloodstream. Too much homocysteine in the blood has been shown through research studies to increase the risk of heart disease.

Whole grains are rich in lignans, phenolic acid and phytochemicals known as phytosterols. Research studies into the benefits of whole grains have discovered that that this "miracle food" is capable of decreasing the risk of a number of different cancers developing as well as type II diabetes. They are also effective at lowering cholesterol and decreasing the risk that an individual could develop heart disease and other circulatory problems. The benefits do not end there. Whole grains are capable of decreasing inflammation in the body and therefore lowering the risk of heart disease and other heart complications.

A research study conducted at the University of Utah by Doctor Martha Slattery yielded the results that a diet rich in whole grains and in particular, high fiber cereals decreased the risk that rectal cancer will develop by approximately 31 percent. Further studies showed that a diet high in fiber, which is to say, more than 34 grams of fiber consumed on a daily basis, is capable of decreasing the chance of colorectal cancer by 66 percent.

Another study that was recently conducted at Tufts University by Doctor Nicola McKeown, showed that the participant of the study who ate at least three servings of whole grains on a daily basis were much less inclined to succumb to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, both of which are likely to preceed type II diabetes and heart disease.

Whole grains provide both soluble and insoluble fiber to those who eat it regularly. The body requires both. A research study conducted by Doctor Qi and her colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health with women participants showed the result that females who suffer from diabetes can benefit from eating a great deal of whole grains, cereal fiber and bran. When tested these women were found to have lower blood vessel inflammation which has been closely connected with circulatory disease.
About the Author
Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Food Cures.
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