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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Randy

A healthy plant-based diet consisting of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds may help cut chronic disease risk. Nutrition research suggests that, unless you have been diagnosed with celiac disease, you should eat whole grains, including gluten grains, since overall, whole grains are linked to lower chronic disease risk. Unfortunately the standard American diet includes a high proportion of refined grains, which do not provide the equivalent health benefits.

The Framingham Heart Study found that three or more daily servings of whole grains were associated with a slimmer waist.  Another study found that the eating of three whole grain portions a day alleviated hypertension as much as medication did. Whole grains may help lower risk for prediabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, cancer in general, and breast and prostate cancer in particular. Whole grains contain beneficial nutrients including magnesium, zinc, ergothioneine and phytates.  By sprouting grains, you can increase the antioxidant content.

The toxic metal cadmium can be found in whole grains and vegetables, but does not appear to be as harmful as cadmium from animal-based foods.


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