The phrase we all grew up hearing “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” is about to be changed to “Some Quinoa every day keeps The Grim Reaper away!”
Results of a study by Harvard Public School of Health was released in March 24, 2015 to great fanfare. Why? Because the study findings state that eating a serving of quinoa, that protein-packed, gluten-free seed (or grain as some refer to it) can reduce the risk of premature death from cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease and diabetes.
This was not some little fly by night study done on a few hundred people who lived in rural Wisconsin. Instead, if was a very comprehensive research project which spanned more than a decade. To be precise, the Harvard researchers followed the diets and health of 367,442 healthy adults over a period of 14 years.
They found that those who ate 34 grams of whole grains every single day reduced their risk of premature death by 17 per cent. This was even after controlling for differences in age, body mass, smoking and physical activity.
“Our study indicates that intake of whole grains and cereal fiber may reduce the risk of all-cause mortality and death from chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease,” study leader Dr Lu Qi said.
“Our findings should motivate future studies especially clinical trials and experimental studies to further testify the beneficial effects of whole grains and potential effective components such as fiber and other nutrients, and explore mechanisms.”
What foods are considered whole grain? Whole grains are those where the germ, the bran and endosperm remain intact. Whole grains include:
- Rice (black, brown, red, purple and wild)
- Whole wheat
- Whole wheat
In processed and refined grains those things are removed, and many of the nutrients extracted are “enriched” with synthetic vitamins and fiber.
How to Cook Quinoa
The ratio is 1 cup of well-rinsed, uncooked quinoa to 2 cups of broth or water. Bring quinoa and liquid to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork then serve. Makes a great replacement for rice or noodles.
Examples of refined/processed grain foods include boxed breakfast cereals, cream of wheat or rice, white or wheat bread (unless it says WHOLE wheat), white flour or anything made from it, white pasta, soda crackers, instant oatmeal, ramen noodles, and white rice.
With 25 per cent more protein, whole grains are also a more abundant source of dietary fiber and other nutrients, like zinc, copper, manganese, iron and thiamine.
These nutrients, the authors said, have shown beneficial effects on human health including control of blood sugar, blood pressure, serum cholesterol, regulation of the bowels (which helps prevent colon cancer), and faster weight loss.
The study, the largest in size regarding deaths in a prospective setting, found that the most likely benefit comes from the fiber in whole grains.
The American Heart Association Eating Plan suggests eating a variety of food fiber sources. Total dietary fiber intake should be a minimum of 25 to 30 grams a day from the food we eat, not from synthetic fiber supplements.
Currently, dietary fiber intake among adults in the United States averages 15 grams per day – about half the recommended amount. And since that is an average, it means many of you are eating less than that.
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Category: Veganism and African Americans