Why do we think grains are good when so many others are trying to convince you that absolutely no grains is the way to go? We do think people need to cut down on certain grains–but refined grains! Refined grains are really bad for you. They are basically empty calories with no nutrient benefit. We beleive whole grains still are good for you. And often when we say whole grains, we are really talking about seeds, such as quinoa, chia, and buckwheat (which isn’t in any way related to wheat). Here are some of the studies that back our theory up.
Whole grains are rich in antioxidants, vitamin B, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, and fiber. They have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and reduce the likelihood of some types of cancer, including breast, colon, and kidney cancer. They can help regulate blood glucose, decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Lower Blood Pressure–Over half of Americans high blood pressure or pre-high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease, strokes, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease. It is often caused by poor diet. The Mayo Clinic states eating a diet “rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 14 mm Hg.” That 14 mm Hg change is enough to significantly lower your risk factors associated with high blood pressure. (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-blood-pressure/HI00027)
Lower Risk of Heart Disease–Over 1/3 of Americans have heart disease. While you can have forms of heart disease with a healthy diet, your risk of cardiovascular disease goes up if you have a poor diet. Heart failure can be greatly reduced by eating whole grains. A study found that men who simply ate a bowl of whole grain (not refined) cereal each morning had a 29% lower risk of heart failure. (Arch Intern Med. 2007 Oct 22;167(19):2080-5.)
Lower Risk of Diabetes–Almost 11% of Americans over age 20 have diabetes.That number is huge, right? Another 25% of Americans have pre-diabetes. (USDA 2010 report, p. 3) Most of those cases are type 2 diabetes, which is linked to poor diet and lack of exercise.. (Hu FB, Manson JE, Stampfer MJ, et al. Diet, lifestyle, and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in women. N Engl J Med. 2001; 345:790-7.) Researchers have found that simply increasing your whole grain intake by 2 servings per day decreases your risk of type 2 diabetes by 21%. (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/preventing-diabetes-full-story/, Sun Q, Spiegelman D, van Dam RM,et al. White rice, brown rice, and risk of type 2 diabetes in US men and women. Arch Intern Med. 2010; 170:961-9.)
Less Osteoporosis–Osteoporosis is affected by nutrition and exercise. Although most people only recognize this disease in older women, 85 to 90% of a person’s bone density is acquired by the time a person is 20. Half of women and a quarter of men above the age of 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture during their life. (USDA 2010 report, p. 3) The National Osteoporosis Society states that while “bone loss is part of the aging process . . . fractures are not an inevitable part of old age.” A balanced diet can get you the calcium you need to prevent osteoporosis fractures. (http://www.nos.org.uk/page.aspx?pid=349&srcid=261)
Weight Loss–People who eat more whole grains on a regular basis weigh less. (www.healthcastle.com/wholegrains.shtml)
Less Breast Cancer–Pre-menopausal women who ate more than 30 grams of fiber from whole grains daily cut their risk of breast cancer by 52%. More than 6 grams of fiber from fruit a day cut the risk by 29%. (Cade JE, Burley VJ, et al., International Journal of Epidemiology.)
Lower Rate of Asthma–In one study, of children who ate a high amount of whole grains and fish, only 2.8% had asthma. Children who didn’t eat those foods often? Of those, 16.7% had asthma. (Dutch National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Utrecht University)
Your health, quality of life, and longevity could depend on your eating habits. The benefits you pass on to your family are just as important.