It might. Eating more whole-grain foods on a regular basis may help reduce your chance of developing high blood pressure (hypertension).
Whole grains are grains that include the entire grain kernel — they haven't had their bran and germ removed by refining. Whole-grain foods are a rich source of healthy nutrients, including fiber, potassium, magnesium, folate, iron and selenium. Eating more whole-grain foods offers many health benefits that can work together to help reduce your risk of high blood pressure by:
- Aiding in weight control, since whole-grain foods can make you feel full longer
- Increasing your intake of potassium, which is linked to lower blood pressure
- Decreasing your risk of insulin resistance
- Reducing damage to your blood vessels
If you already have high blood pressure, eating more whole-grain foods might help lower your blood pressure and possibly reduce your need for blood pressure medication.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and the Mediterranean diet both suggest including whole grains as part of a healthy diet.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as part of an overall healthy diet, adults should eat at least 85 grams of whole-grain foods a day — that's about 3 ounces, or the equivalent of three slices of whole-wheat bread.
April 11, 2015
- Jonnalagadda SS, et al. Putting the whole grain puzzle together: Health benefits associated with whole grains — Summary of American Society for Nutrition 2010 Satellite Symposium. The Journal of Nutrition. 2011;141:1011.
- Whole grains and fiber. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Whole-Grains-and-Fiber_UCM_303249_Article.jsp. Accessed March 3, 2015.
- Widmer RJ, et al. Mediterranean diet, its components, and cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Medicine. In press. Accessed March 2, 2015.
- Flint AJ, et al. Whole grains and incident hypertension in men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2009;90:493.
- Dietary guidelines for Americans, 2010. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DGAs2010-PolicyDocument.htm. Accessed March 3, 2015.
- Tighe P, et al. Effects of increased consumption of whole-grain foods on blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk markers in healthy middle-aged persons: A randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2010;92:733.
- Your guide to lowering blood pressure with DASH. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/new_dash.pdf. Accessed March 6, 2015.