Can a sandwich a day keep the doctors away?

In the world of nutritional health, grains have become a hot topic of discussion. But is this long-time staple of the food pyramid getting a bum rap? Quite possibly: recent research shows a substance found in much-maligned whole grains may be beneficial to your immune system.

By now, you’ve probably read about some of the problems gluten (found in wheat, barley and rye) can cause. Gluten is most problematic to people who are sensitive or allergic to it. For those that suffer from celiac disease, gluten should be avoided at all costs.

Grains are classified as “high glycemic foods” and can cause your blood sugar levels to spike —something that should be avoided if you’re diabetic or even pre-diabetic.

But if you don’t experience negative consequences tied to grains — or are only jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon to lose weight — you should probably make an effort to integrate wholesome whole grains into your balanced diet at least for this one special reason…

Rye bread and other whole grain foods, contain health-promoting bioactive substances called Benzoxazinoids — or BX for short–and this natural substance appears to boost your immune system.

BX were first discovered in whole grains by scientists from Aarhus University in 2010, and according to Associate Professor Inge S. Fomsgaard from the Department of Agroecology at Aarhus, “Certain medicinal plants and green cereals have previously been found to contain BX, but it was a revelation that they are also found in ripened rye and other whole grains. Not only that — we also found BX in the final baked bread and other whole grain products.”

“Eating a diet rich in BX compounds made certain immune system cells react more strongly to some types of bacteria,” says Inge S. Fomsgaard. “The BX compounds may therefore help the body fight an infection caused by these bacteria.” 1

“We found that the BX compounds pass through the gut wall and circulate in the body in different chemical forms. By comparing the amount that was eaten with the amount circulating in the blood and excreted in urine, we could work out that some of the substances could be transported into some of the organs where they are able to do some good,” she added.

The scientists involved in this research speculate that foods in the future could possibly be engineered to contain optimum amounts of BX so that consumers could reap its immune-enhancing benefits without having to consume large quantities of food. However, engineered food doesn’t always turn out so well, as the GMO legacy is revealing.

You may be better off just enjoying three to five daily servings of whole grains — as recommended by the Oldways Whole Grain Council or checking out a special cookbook that resulted from this Danish research, containing recipes and suggestions on how to best benefit from the BX health factor.

Easy Health Options Staff

By Easy Health Options Staff

Submitted by the staff at Easy Health Options®.