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Healthonym Is a Safe Space

WHAT ARE WHOLE GRAINS?

Whole grains are seeds (kernels) that contain the following parts of a seed:

  • Germ. This is the embryo, or undeveloped “baby” plant that might one day grow into an “adult” plant.
  • Endosperm. This is the germ’s food supply.
  • Bran. This is the “skin” of the seed.

These three parts are the edible portions of any grain. When whole grains are ground into a fine texture, they are known as wholemeal foods. But we’ll refer to both, whole grains and wholemeal foods, as whole grains in the rest of this article for simplicity’s sake.

Any food that contains whole grains, and is labeled as a whole grain food (like a whole grain breakfast cereal), must contain at least 27 grams of whole grains for every 100 gram serving.

It’s important to note that whole grains do not contain the inedible parts of a seed, such as the hull and husk, which are sometimes used in fiber supplements.

Nevertheless, whole grains contain a lot of beneficial nutrients, including:

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Fiber
  • Antioxidants

Compare this to refined grains, like white flour or white rice.  Refined grains are seeds that have been stripped of much of their germ and bran. What’s left is the ground-up endosperm.

As a result, refined grains contain a lot less fiber and fewer nutrients than whole grains.

HOW WHOLE GRAINS AFFECT YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE*

For adults who are overweight, obese, or have metabolic syndrome:

  • Adding whole grains to your diet may have little to no effect on your systolic or diastolic blood pressure.

SUCCESSFUL TREATMENTS USED IN RESEARCH

The fiber in whole grains may be important for your blood pressure

Scientists suspect that it’s the fiber found in whole grains that’s most important for your health.

Additionally, the type of whole grain you eat might play a role in lowering your blood pressure.

Moreover, a combination of whole grains with other important dietary factors might improve your blood pressure as well.

SIDE EFFECTS

Whole grains are unlikely to cause serious side effects in most people. Minor side effects are possible in others. This includes nausea and flatulence.

*EVIDENCE

PEOPLE STUDIED

Adult men and women. Most of the people were overweight, obese, or had metabolic syndrome.

TYPES OF STUDIES

Randomized, controlled, clinical trials (parallel design). All studies lasted at least 12 weeks. Controls were diets with low or no amount of whole grain.

QUALITY OF EVIDENCE

There’s a lack of high quality data on this topic. As a result, scientists are uncertain about these findings. Additional studies are necessary.

REFERENCES

For references, please click here.