Health Update

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

 

Dietitian's tip:

You may substitute swordfish, halibut, sea bass or any other whitefish, and the calorie values are similar.

Ingredients

 

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

Directions

 

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.

It is better to sleep on things beforehand than lie awake about them afterwards. -Baltasar Gracian, philosopher and writer (8 Jan 1601-1658)