SEARCH HEALTH STUDIES

Whole Grains Lower Obesity Risk

As part of the well-known Nurses’ Study, Simin Liu and fellow researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health followed over 74,000 women from 1984-1996, and concluded that women who consumed more whole grains consistently weighed less than women who consumed less whole grains.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 2003; vol 78(5):920-927

Ancient Wheat Breads Digested Differently

Researchers at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, in Frederiksberg, Denmark, compared three different loaves: einkorn bread made with honey-salt leavening; naturally-leavened einkorn bread made with crushed whole grains; and commercial yeast bread made with modern wheat. The naturally-leavened einkorn loaves significantly reduced the gastrointestinal response of GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotrophic polypeptide), a hormone important in controlling insulin secretion.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 2003; 57(1):1254-61

Buckwheat Provides Prebiotic-like Benefits; Considered Healthy Food

In 2003, a study out of Madrid, Spain examined the high nutrient levels in buckwheat to determine whether it could behave as a prebiotic and be considered a healthy food. (Prebiotics are indigestible food ingredients that stimulate the helpful bacteria in our digestive systems.) Not only did the buckwheat-fed group emerge with a lower bodyweight when compared to the control, some of the best types of helpful bacteria were found, along with a decrease in some types of pathogenic bacteria.
Nutrition Research, June 2003; 23(6):803-14

Commonly Grown Amaranth Highest In Phytosterols

University of Guelph researchers in Ontario, Canada found that amaranth can be a rich dietary source of phytosterols, which have cholesterol-lowering properties.  Of the four varieties tested, the top results came from Amaranthus K343, often called Plainsman, the most commonly cultivated amaranth in the United States.
Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 2003; 58(3):207-11
 

Amaranth Leaves Offer Potential Health Benefits

Australian researches conducted a study focusing on Greeks who relocated to Melbourne but maintained their traditional Mediterranean diet.  During this study, the foods selected for nutrient evaluation – leafy green vegetables, figs in season, and various types of olive oil – were those commonly consumed by Greeks living in Melbourne, but not by native Australians.  Of all the commercial and wild leafy greens studied, amaranth leaves were found to contain some of the highest levels of beta-carotene and lutein, even higher than the commercially available chicory and endive.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 2002; 56(11):1149-54

Barley’s Slow Digestion may help Weight Control

Barley varieties such as Prowashonupana that are especially high in beta-glucan fiber may digest more slowly than standard barley varieties. Researchers at USDA and the Texas Children’s Hospital compared the two and concluded that Prowashonupana may indeed be especially appropriate for obese and diabetic patients.
Journal of Nutrition, September 2002; 132(9):2593-6

Oats Lower Bad Cholesterol

Researchers at Colorado State University randomly assigned thirty-six overweight middle-aged men to eat either an oat or wheat cereal daily for twelve weeks. At the end of the three-month period, the men eating the oat cereal had lower concentrations of small, dense LDL cholesterol (thought to be particularly dangerous) and lower LDL overall, compared to those in the wheat group, while their HDL (“good”) cholesterol was unchanged.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, August 2002; 76(2):351-8

Oats Help Control Blood Pressure

Using a randomized, controlled parallel-group pilot study, researchers followed 18 hypertensive and hyperinsulemic men and women for six weeks, while half of them ate oat cereal (5.52g/day of beta-glucan) and the others ate a lower-fiber cereal (less than 1g total fiber). The oat group enjoyed a 7.5mm Hg reduction in systolic blood pressure and a 5.5 mm Hg reduction in diastolic blood pressure, while the wheat group was unchanged.
Journal of Family Practice, April 2002; 51(4):369

Optimum Germination Conditions for Wheat

Scientists at the University of Alberta germinated wheat under various conditions to determine how to maximize the production of antioxidants.  First, they steeped the grains in water for 24 or 48 hours, then sprouted them in the dark for 9 days. Vitamins C and E and beta-carotene, which were barely detectable in the dry grains, increased steadiily during the germination period. Grains steeped for 48 hours became wet, sticky, discolored and acidic-smelling after germination, leading researchers to conclude that 24 hours of steeping and 7 days of sprouting would produce the best combination of antioxidant concentrations and sensory properties.
International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, July 2001; 52(4):319-30.

Sprouting Sorghum Enhances Taste and Nutrition

Tanzanian researchers observed that sorghum, although a staple food in many poorer areas of the world, is not highly esteemed, because of limits in its nutritional and sensory qualities. In an effort to make this easy-to-grow grain more useful and more widely accepted, they studied three traditional processing methods: germination (sprouting), fermentation, and a germination/fermentation comination.  They concluded that germination was the best approach for improving the nutritional and functional qualities of the sorghum.
International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, March 2001; 52(2):117-26.

Sorghum May Help Treat Human Melanoma

Scientists in Madrid studied the effect of three different components from wine and one from sorghum, to gauge their effects on the growth of human melanoma cells. While results were mixed, they concluded that all four components (phenolic fractions) “have potential as therapeutic agents in the treatments of human melanoma” although the way in which each slowed cancer growth may differ.
Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry. 2001 Mar;49(3):1620-4

Eating Buckwheat Products Produces Lower GI Response

In a joint effort to determine the characteristics of buckwheat starch and its potential for a reduced metabolic response after meals, researchers from Slovenia and Sweden scored human test subject’s responses to an assortment of buckwheat products, including boiled buckwheat groats, breads baked with 30-70% buckwheat flour, and bread baked from buckwheat groats. The highest level of resistant starch was found in the boiled buckwheat groats, while the resistant starch levels in the buckwheat breads were significantly lower, depending on whether flour or grouts had been used. The conclusion? All buckwheat products scored significantly lower on the after-meal blood glucose tests, while also scoring higher in satiety, than the control group’s white wheat bread.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, January 2001; 49(1):490–96. DOI: 10.1021/jf000779w

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