Can whole-grain foods lower blood pressure?
It might. Eating more whole-grain foods on a regular basis might 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.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and the Mediterranean diet both recommend 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.
Mediterranen style grilled salmon
You may substitute swordfish, halibut, sea bass or any other whitefish, and the calorie values are similar.
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 salmon fillets, each 5 ounces
Cracked black pepper, to taste
4 green olives, chopped
4 thin slices lemon
Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill or broiler. Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source.
In a small bowl, combine the basil, parsley, minced garlic and lemon juice. Spray the fish with cooking spray. Sprinkle with black pepper. Top each fillet with equal amounts of the herb-garlic mixture. Place the fish herb-side down on the grill. Grill over high heat. When the edges turn white, after about 3 to 4 minutes, turn the fish over and place on aluminum foil. Move the fish to a cooler part of the grill or reduce the heat. Grill until the fish is opaque throughout when tested with the tip of a knife and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the fish reads 145 F (about 4 minutes longer).
Remove the salmon and place on warmed plates. Garnish with green olives and lemon slices.