It seems that a higher intake of whole-grain foods is associated with a significant decrease in the risk of stroke in women.
Recent data from the Nurses' Health Study published last week examined dietary data on the 75,521 women and compared the subject's intake of whole grain to risk of stroke. The Harvard University researchers found that the risk of stroke was reduced by 30% to 40% in those women who had the highest intake of whole grains compared to those who ate the least.
The same researchers had demonstrated earlier that whole-grain intake is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Whole grains contain many micronutrients, protective plant chemicals, antioxidants, B vitamins, folic and magnesium--all of which might have a protective effect. The structure of whole grains can lower glucose and insulin response, which can, over the long run, reduce the risk of stroke.
To reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke the researcher suggest that refined grain products in the diet should be replaced with whole-grain products.
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