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Blood Pressure: Can whole grain foods really lower blood pressure?

Eating the right diet is important when you’re suffering from high or low blood pressure. Whole grains have been effective in lowering your blood pressure and making you feel better.


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Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition where the force exerted by the blood against the walls of the blood vessels increases. It can lead to serious health complications like heart attack, stroke and even death. Unmanaged hypertension can cause serious problems. Therefore, it is important to take care of your diet and exercise properly. Whole grain foods could help you prevent high blood pressure.

Benefits of Whole Grains

Whole grains are grains that include the entire grain kernel – they haven’t had their bran and germ removal by refining. They are a rich source of healthy nutrients, including fiber, potassium, magnesium, folate, iron and selenium.

If you suffer from high blood pressure, a diet high in whole grains can be as effective as taking anti-hypertensive medications. Whole grain foods help to lower your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. These benefits come from the fact that they haven’t had their outer coat and germ removed by refining. Therefore, they have all the goodness in them.

A research from Cleveland Clinic shows that, a diet rich in whole grains may significantly lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in overweight and obese adults who are younger than age 50.

Whole Grains v/s Refined Grains

There’s a debate whether whole grains or refined grains are good for blood pressure. However, in a study, a group of 33 overweight and obese adults followed either a whole grain or refined grain diet for a two-week period. The diets were completely same except for whether they consisted whole grains or refined grains.

At the beginning and end of each diet period, all the participants had a three-day metabolic testing in a clinical setup. Those who consumed a whole grain diet saw a three-fold greater improvement in their diastolic pressure compared to the refined grain diet participants.

Both were healthy diets and had similar amount of calories but the only difference was whole grain.

Whole Grains for High Blood Pressure

Whole grains contain:

  • A fiber-rich outer coat, which helps to lower cholesterol.
  • Bran, which helps to lower triglyceride levels.
  • Vitamin and mineral packed germs, which may protect the inside of your arteries.
  • Besides lowering your blood pressure, it helps to substantially reduce body weight, total
  • cholesterol, damage to blood vessels and risk of insulin resistance.

Good Sources of Whole Grains:

  • Wholemeal breads and pastas
  • Brown rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Bulgar wheat
  • Buckwheat
  • Whole barley
    Replace your diet and stick to healthy options. Manage your blood pressure before it takes a toll on your health. Switch from white rice to brown rice and white bread to brown bread. You can also find whole grains in many other breakfast cereals and breads. Adults should eat at least 85g of whole grain foods a day.
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