Organic and Whole Grains to Reduce Cancer Risks
Comprehensive Cancer Centers is always looking for ways to share insights that may help people minimize their risks for cancer, while giving their bodies the best chance for successful outcomes, should a diagnosis for cancer occur. A significant part of the practice’s educational efforts comes from providing information related to healthy eating, which includes whole and organic grains.
While organic and whole grains have been around forever, trends recently have increased focus on the benefits of a diet that features more of these grains which include brown rice, oatmeal, corn, barley, bulgur, kasha, millet and more. These grains are rich in fiber and include bran and nutrient-packed germ that aren’t found in processed grains.
Some wonder whether these critical nutrients can be gained through taking supplements to reduce cancer risks. However, evidence suggests that supplements don’t have the same positive effects as getting nutrients from foods. This comes from an understanding that the body better processes key nutrients when they’re eaten along with other nutrients, and in their most natural form.
Phytochemicals and Antioxidants and Anti-Cancer Activities
One of the most important benefits from organic whole grains is health-promoting phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are components of plants that convey healthful properties beyond their use as macronutrients or micronutrients. Phytochemicals have been found by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition to contain potent antioxidant and anticancer activities.
Ways to Get More Organic and Whole Grains in Your Diet
A challenge for consumption of grains comes from a desire to reduce carbohydrates from diets for weight loss. While getting to a healthy weight, or staying at a healthy weight, is important for your overall health, adding or increasing organic whole grains to a diet can be done while being cautious of caloric consumption. As with any diet or dietary plan, the key is found in proper portions. In addition, most carbs that cause dietary issues comes from processed grains, which often provide empty or wasteful calories.
Here are a few examples of how to add whole grains to your diet to improve your health, while also watching your diet.
Brown Rice over White Rice – The exterior layer of a rice grain contains fiber, antioxidants, B vitamins and phytochemicals and the germ layer contains similar healthy nutrients including antioxidants like vitamin E. White rice is a brown rice grain with all of the goodness removed.
Whole Wheat Bread over White Bread – Similar to rice, the production process for whole wheat leaves far more nutrients in place than white bread. Whole wheat bread includes vitamins, protein, minerals, healthy fats, and fiber that are missing in white bread.
More Oatmeal for Breakfast – Oatmeal, in particular steel cut oatmeal, is a fast and healthy breakfast alternative that’s packed with nutrition. You can add healthy fruits, nuts and vegetables, or other options like honey or yogurt to oatmeal for added health benefits.
Bonus: Quinoa a Grain that’s Not a Grain – Quinoa is a food that shares many of the same benefits of grains, but is not actually a grain. Quinoa is actually a relative of spinach and beets. The great benefit of quinoa is being able to enjoy much of what organic whole grains offer, while being gluten free.
Options for Flours – For those that enjoy baking, there are several types of flour are made from whole grains including chickpea flour, teff flour, tapioca flour, brown rice flour and almond flour.
As with any foods, be mindful of potential food allergies, while also keeping in mind that even good food is better food in moderation.
For more healthy eating habits and recipes, visit our website. To schedule an appointment with a physician at Comprehensive Cancer Centers, call 702-952-3350.
The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.