Grains For a Healthier Heart

Due to heart disease being one-third of all deaths worldwide, researchers and consumers alike have found ways to keep our hearts healthy. They found that our diet plays a significant role in whether our heart keeps beating, and the whole grains have been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Let’s dive in and see why, how, and what types of grains are good for the heart.


Why are grains good for the heart? 


Research has found that eating whole grains help maintain blood sugar levels and blood pressure over time. Blood sugar and blood pressure are two risk factors that lead to heart disease, so keeping them within healthy ranges is an excellent start to protecting the heart.


The high fiber content makes whole grains come out on top compared to their refined-grain counterparts. Due to whole grains being high in fiber makes them more satiating when we eat; even the vitamins – magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants – can contribute to lower blood pressure.


The B vitamins found in whole grains along with magnesium, iron, and selenium have been shown to contribute to a variety of bodily functions. They are all involved in cell growth, oxygen flow through the blood, thyroid regulation, and healthy immune function.


What grains are the best to eat for heart health? 


When you’re looking for whole grains when you’re shopping, turn to the ingredients and make sure that you see the word “whole” or “whole grain” first in the list. Another way to know if a food is truly made with whole grains, look for a certification stamp somewhere on the packing from the Whole Grain Council.


Here is a list of whole grain foods to incorporate into your meals:

  • Barley
  • Brown rice
  • Bulgar (cracked wheat)
  • Corn
  • Farro
  • Graham flour
  • Mullet
  • Oatmeal
  • Popcorn
  • Quinoa


Whenever possible, choose whole grains over their refined-grain counterparts. Aim for at least three servings of whole grain foods per day!


When it comes to whole grains, focus on quality, and most importantly, make sure you find them delicious enough to incorporate into your meals. Including a variety of whole grains in your diet will promote heart health and make mealtimes more enjoyable.




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