SEARCH HEALTH STUDIES

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

Phenols in Brown Rice may Inhibit Breast and Colon Cancer

Rice is a staple in Asia, where breast and colon cancer rates are markedly lower than in the Western world. Scientists at the University of Leicester, UK, analyzed the phenolic compounds in brown rice, brown rice bran, and white milled rice (from the same varietal) to look for known cancer-suppressive compounds. They discovered that several such compounds were present in all three samples, but were found in much lower levels in the white rice. They postulated that consuming rice bran or brown rice instead of white rice may be advantageous with respect to cancer prevention.
Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. November 2000; 9(11): 1163-70.

Wheat Flour Particle Size Doesn’t Affect Glycemic Response

USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, in Beltsville, MD, asked twenty-six healthy adults to consume four different samples: glucose solution, traditional white (refined) bread, conventional whole wheat bread, or bread made with ultra-fine whole wheat. The researchers then determined the subjects’ glycemic response, and determined that both whole wheat flours (conventional and ultra-fine) had similar effects. They concluded that “the particle size of whole grain wheat flour did not substantially affect glycemic responses.
Journal of the American College of Nutrition, December 1999; 18(6):591-7

Barley Pasta Lowers Cholesterol

University of California researchers fed two test meals to 11 healthy men, both containing beta-glucan. One meal was a high-fiber (15.7g) barley pasta and the other was  lower-fiber (5.0g) wheat pasta. The barley pasta blunted insulin response, and four hours after the meal, barley-eaters had significantly lower cholesterol concentration than wheat-eaters.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 1999; 69(1):55-63

Oils In Amaranth May Help Cut Cholesterol

Researchers from the U. S. Department of Agriculture in Madison, WI conducted studies that showed the healthy oil in amaranth could significantly reduce total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in 6-week-old female chickens.
The Journal of Nutrition, August 1996; 126(8):1972-8

Oats #3 Overall, #1 for Breakfast, in Satiety Index

Also in Australia, researchers at the University of Sydney fed 38 different foods, one by one, to 11-13 different people, then asked them to report their “satiety” or fullness every 15 minutes for the next two hours. From this, they ranked all 38 foods in a “Satiety Index.” Oatmeal rated #3 overall for making people feel satisfied and full, and it rated #1 in the breakfast food group.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 1995; 49(9): 675-90

Sprouted Millet is Higher in Key Nutrients

Researchers in India allowed proso millet to germinate for 1-7 days, then analysed the changes in its composition. They found that sprouting increased lysine (a key amino acid lacking in most grains) and concentrated the protein, as the grain overall lost weight. Increases in tryptophan, albumin and globulin were also observed, along with decreases in prolamins, a plant storage protein that may be difficult for some people to digest.
Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, February 1994; 45(2):97-102.

Amaranth’s Protein Is Close To Animal-based Protein

The Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama in Guatemala conducted a comparative study between the protein in amaranth and cheese protein.  Researchers concluded that the protein in amaranth is among the most nutritious vegetable-based protein and can be considered on par with protein from animal-based products.
Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, March 1993; 43(2):123-43

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