Making a habit of eating a whole-grain cereal for breakfast could significantly reduce your risk of heart failure. That’s what researchers with the Physicians? Health Study found when they analyzed the diets of more than 21,000 male physicians and tracked their incidence of heart failure. (Heart failure is when the heart cannot adequately pump enough blood.)
In the study, those who ate at least seven servings a week of whole-grain cereal were about 30% less likely to suffer heart failure, compared to those who ate no whole-grain cereal. Eating two to six servings a week lowered risk by up to 25%. There was no reduced risk from eating refined cereals. Whole grains contain natural plant compounds like phytoestrogens and phenolic acids that may benefit the heart.
The researchers conclude that more studies are needed, but increasing your intake of whole grains may be an important step to preventing heart failure.
Archives of Internal Medicine, October 22, 2007.