Ancient grains, such as millet, barley, teff, oats, Khorasan wheat, bulgur, einkorn, sorghum, spelt, chia, and buckwheat, are thought to have health benefits.
They are different from the typical modern wheat in average grocery stores, because they are naturally produced.
In a recent study, scientists find that eating ancient grain bread is associated with lower heart disease risk. The finding is published in International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.
Researchers from University of Florence in Italy, Careggi University Hospital in Italy, and Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation Florence in Italy conducted the study.
They recruited 45 healthy adults and divided them into 2 groups. In one group, participants ate ancient grain bread for 8 weeks; in the other group, participants ate modern wheat bread for 8 weeks.
Researchers also recorded the heart health conditions in all participants. At the end of the study, they found that eating ancient grain bread improved heart health in various ways.
Indeed, people eating ancient grain bread showed lower total cholesterol, reduced low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol, and lower blood glucose. However, people eating modern wheat bread showed no change in their heart health conditions.
Furthermore, eating ancient grain bread increased heart cells (circulating endothelial progenitor cells) that are important in restoring the lining of blood vessels damaged during a heart attack.
Researchers suggest that food made from ancient grain can help reduce heart disease risk. Ancient grains often are rich in vitamin B, vitamin E, and minerals. These substances are important for our body health and may help protect the heart.
Citation: Sereni A, et al. (2016). Cardiovascular benefits from ancient grain bread consumption: findings from a double-blinded randomized crossover intervention trial. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, published online. doi: 10.1080/09637486.2016.1216528.
Figure legend: This Knowridge.com image is for illustrative purposes only.