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‘Ancient grains’ make heart healthier bread

Natural Health News – Eating bread made from ancient grains may help lower cholesterol and blood glucose – levels of the major risk factors for heart attack and stroke – according to new research


Although the study International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition does not prove that ancient grains prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD), is adds to the growing evidence that ancient grain varieties can help reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Current agricultural practices are mainly focused on improving production yield of wheat. This has resulted in vast monocultures of only a few high-yielding varieties. The assessment of performance above all has also been detrimental to the nutritional profile of the grain.

What you need to know

conventional cereal crops today are bred to produce high yields -. But this has a cost to the nutritional value of the plant

Italian scientists conducted a little experiment to see if there were any health benefits of bread made from varieties of old rain outside wheat bread made conventionally grown.

The results showed that consumption of bread of ancient grains helped to significantly reduce total cholesterol and lipoprotein low density cholesterol (LDL ) (the ‘harmful’ cholesterol), and blood glucose levels among study participants.

new interest in ‘old’ grains

In recent years there has been an increase in the popularity of so-called “ancient grains” that compared with modern grain varieties are often very refined, we offer have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They also contain more beneficial vitamins (B and E), minerals (eg magnesium, iron, potassium), which protects against chronic diseases.

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But if ancient grains consumption, or how they are grown (ie, organic or conventional methods), has an impact on risk factors for cardiovascular disease is unknown.

In this randomized, crossover, 45 healthy adult test, with an average age of 50 years, were asked to change their usual for bread made from ancient and modern grains for three separate with a duration of eight weeks interventions bread.

In the first phase, participants were randomly assigned to organically include (22 participants) or conventionally cultivated (23) made of ancient grain bread Verna in your diet. Eight weeks later, all participants were assigned to eat bread made with modern grain Blasco.

In the third phase, participants were assigned to consume bread made with two different varieties of ancient grains (Gentil Rosso and Autonomia B), both conventionally grown. The researchers took blood samples at baseline and at the end of each intervention to test lipid, cholesterol and glucose levels and other cardiovascular measures.

Both total cholesterol and lipoprotein low density cholesterol (LDL) (the “harmful” cholesterol) and glucose levels in the blood significantly decreased after 2 months of bread you eat from ancient grains, regardless of if they are grown organically or conventionally.

In contrast, no significant differences were observed in these measures after eating bread made with modern grain. Moreover, a substantial increase in circulating cells Endothelial Progenitor which repair damaged blood vessels was observed after consuming the bread made from the old grain Verna.

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Growing food healthier

This essay suggests that ancient grains can help reduce some risk factors for CVD, regardless of how they are grown. Because the number of participants was small, however, larger studies are needed before definitive conclusions can be drawn about the effects of ancient grains on heart health.

Results can also convince more farmers to cultivate ancient grains. That is good news for our health, but also good news for the planet, as many ancient grains are not suitable for a conventional high-input farming.

These grains, which are more suitable for organic farming -. They could produce more nutritionally superior grain products, but also encourage greater interest in others ‘heritage’ plant crops that have a higher nutritional value than current monocultures

“We found that the organic approach was the only one that could produce grain varieties age,” said study leader Francesco Sofi, associate professor of Nutritional Sciences at the University Hospital Careggi in Florence teacher.

“With a conventional approach of these varieties are not available. Therefore, if it is true for grains, it is also true for other foods such as fruits and vegetables.”

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