Whole grains can help womens problems
Human beings are natural grain eaters. We have all heard the phrase; 'Bread is the staff of life.'But over the last few generations we have moved from whole grain to highly processed and very inferior flours in sliced white bread, pies, puddings, biscuits, cakes and cookies - not to mention pasta and pizza bases!
Grains are evolutions counterpart to humans. The dinosaurs ate ferns and primitive vegetation, monkeys and apes eat fruit, and last to appear were grains and humans. Some type of grain grows naturally on every continent. The life- giving benefits were known to our ancestors.
Wholegrain cereals are a significant source of antioxidant phytochemicals. These include lignans, which is a phytoestrogen that can lower the risk of coronary heart disease and may protect against hormonally-linked diseases such as breast and prostate cancer.
An important antioxidant found in most grains is called phytic acid. It helps protect against the development of cancer cells in the colon, reduces blood clots and prevents heart disease. It also enhances the lymphocytes ability to kill tumor cells and prevents the formation of kidney stones. Furthermore, it has a deodorising effect on body odour and bad breath and can also help prevent acute alcohol poisoning.
Even eating one serving of wholegrains daily can considerably reduce the risk of heart and blood vessel disease in postmenopausal women. Plus, the regular intake of cereals that are rich in soluble fibre, such as oats and psyllium, significantly reduces the amount of cholesterol circulating in the bloodstream. Oatbran also helps to lower blood cholesterol.
Another added benefit is that the high-fibre content of wholegrains, increase the movement of food through the digestive tract. The result is softer larger stools, and more frequent bowel action. This provides a good environment for beneficial bacteria, while at the same time decreasing levels of destructive bacteria and the build up of carcinogenic compounds.
Millet has a softer consistency and goes well with other foods. It can be used as a diuretic, it strengthens the kidneys and has a beneficial effect on the stomach, spleen and pancreas. It is also helpful in cases of diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion, and diabetes. Scientific studies have further shown, that eating foods high in insoluble fiber, such as millet and other whole grains, can help women avoid gallstones.
Phosphorus found in millet is an important component of nucleic acids which are the building blocks of the genetic code. The metabolism of fats relies on phosphorus, as it is an essential component of cell membranes and nervous system structures. It also plays a role in forming the mineral matrix of bone. A shortage of phosphorus has been linked to gastrointestinal malabsorption and diabetes mellitus.
Unfortunately, the complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys most of the vitamins B3, B1, and B6, a large amount of the magnesium, manganese, phosphorus,and iron content and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. The resulting white rice is nothing more than refined starch, stripped of its nutrients.
Magnesium helps to relax your nerves and muscles and build strong bones. It also helps with blood circulation. Symptoms which may indicate a lack of magnesium are; muscle weakness, increased heart rate, bone weakness, headaches and elevated blood pressure. Selenium protects the cells from free-radical damage, enables your thyroid to produce thyroid hormone and helps lower the risk of joint inflammation. Symptoms which may indicate a lack of selenium are; muscle pain and weakness, discoloration of the skin and whitening of the fingernail beds. Manganese helps the body utilize nutrients such as biotin, thiamin and ascorbic acid. In addition it keeps the bones strong, helps the body synthesize fatty acids and cholestorol and maintain normal blood sugar levels. Nausea, skin rashes, dizziness and possible hearing loss may indicate a lack of manganese.
The high fibre content of whole grains benefits women during their active reproductive years as well as during the menopause. Whole grains regulate hormonal levels due to their high levels of vitamin B and vitamin E, which have a beneficial effect on both the liver and the ovaries. Studies have shown that eating foods high in insoluble fiber, such as millet and other whole grains, can help women avoid gallstone.
It is easy to obtain whole grain wheat berries, brown rice, millet and oats. Lets get back to basics and start using these wonderful kernels in their whole form. Instead of constantly relying on potatoes to bulk out a meal, use brown rice instead. Oat bran porridge will fortify the family at breakfast. Bulgur a Middle Eastern staple, is delicious in pilaf and salads. Millet forms easily into cakes for a real munch - give whole grains a try!
Writer on natural help for womens problems. Author of Smart Nutrition for an Easy Menopause. Online help and free newsletter at www.maytree.net