Eating porridge daily `can protect your heart`

Eating three portions of wholegrain food daily protects one`s heart by slashing blood pressure levels.

Last Updated: Dec 10, 2010, 12:51 PM IST

London: Porridge seems to be a hearty meal, for a new study has found that eating three portions of the wholegrain food daily can protect one`s heart by slashing blood pressure levels.
In fact, researchers at Aberdeen University have claimed that the breakfast staple could even be as effective as taking medication for a healthy heart.

The study has concluded that if everyone added three portions of wholegrain food to their daily diet it would slash rates of heart disease by 15 per cent and strokes by 25 per cent, the `Daily Express` reported.

The researchers have found that the superfood can also cut high blood pressure, known as hypertension.

They have based their findings on an analysis of 206 volunteers, aged between 40 and 65. Some were normal weight, some fat and some obese and the amount of exercise they did also varied. Most had blood pressure levels considered borderline hypertensive.

The volunteers were asked to eat their normal diet, but include in this either refined foods such as white bread, or three portions of wheat products such as wholemeal bread, or three portions of wheat and oat products such as porridge and wholegrain cereals.

Over the following three months, the study found that those who added wheat or wheat and oats saw their blood pressure reduced significantly compared with those who stuck to the refined diet.

Dr Frank Thies, who led the study, said: "The message is that even a small intervention such as eating whole-grain can make a big difference to heart attack and stroke risk. This sort of change can be easily done by patients and yet it could have a huge impact on public health."

The findings have been published in the latest edition of the `American Journal of Clinical Nutrition`.

PTI