Daily bowl of quinoa could save your life, says Harvard University
People who ate around 34 grams of whole grains per 1000kcal per day lowered their risk of premature death by 17 per cent.
A daily bown of quinoa protects against cancer, diabetes and heart disease
Sarah Knapton By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor1:00AM GMT 24 Mar 2015Follow Comments201 Comments
It is the news that middle-class foodies across Britain have been waiting for: quinoa could save your life.
A study by Harvard Public School of Health had found that eating a daily bowl of quinoa reduces the risk of premature death from cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease and diabetes by 17 per cent.
In fact all whole grains, such as wheat and oats have been shown to be beneficial, warding off illness and keeping organs healthy because they are rich in dietary fibre, minerals and antioxidants.
Researchers studied more than 367,000 people across eight states in America, recording their diets and health for an average of 14 years.
They found that those who ate around 1.2 ounces (34 grams) of whole grains per 1000kcal per day lowered their risk of premature death by 17 per cent.
The findings remained even when allowing for different ages, smoking, body mass index and physical activity.
Study leader Dr Lu Qi said: “Our study indicates that intake of whole grains and cereal fibre may reduce the risk of all-cause mortality and death from chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease.
“Our findings should motivate future studies especially clinical trials and experimental studies to further testify the beneficial effects of whole grains and potential effective components such as fibre and other nutrients, and explore mechanisms.”
When broken down for individual chronic diseases the research showed that eating whole grains and cereals had a significant protective effect.
High whole grains consumption was associated with an 11 per cent and 48 per cent reduced risk of death from respiratory disease and diabetes, respectively and a 15 per cent reduction in cancer risk.
The team believes that whole grains may hold protective properties such as anti-inflammation.
Whole grains, where the bran and germ remain, contain 25 per cent more protein than refined grains, such as those that make white flour, pasta and white rice.
Previous studies have shown that whole grains can boost bone mineral density, lower blood pressure, promote healthy gut bacteria and reduce the risk of diabetes.
One particular fibre found only in oats – called beta-glucan – has been found to lower cholesterol which can help to protect against heart disease. A bioactive compound called avenanthramide is also thought to stop fat forming in the arteries, preventing heart attacks and strokes.
Whole grains are also widely recommended in many dietary guidelines because they contain high levels of nutrients like zinc, copper, manganese, iron and thiamine. They are also believed to boost levels of antioxidants which combat free-radicals.
The research was published in the journal BMC Medicine.