Health Advice



Going with the grain

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

Amaranth, barley, buckwheat, bulgur, corn, einkorn (an ancient wheat), farro, freekeh (freaky?), Kamut (it's trademarked), kaniwa, millet (includes pearl millet, foxtail millet, proso millet, finger millet/ragi, and fonio), oats, quinoa, rice, rye, sorghum, spelt (huh?), teff (double huh?), wheat and wild rice. That's the Whole Grains Council's list of cereal grains -- and while you may not have heard of them all, they make up a great menu of high-fiber, heart-loving choices.

Enjoying grains -- steel-cut oats for breakfast, barley in your soup at lunch, and quinoa in a dinner stir-fry -- is an effective way to reduce bodywide inflammation and cut your risk for cardiovascular disease. That's the conclusion of research published in JAMA Open Network. Investigators looked at the healthy-heart benefits of the fiber in cereal grains, vegetables and fruit, and found that only cereal was consistently associated with reduced levels of inflammation -- reducing CRP (C-reactive protein) by 14%, for example. They also found that cereals are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. Increasing your intake of fiber by just 5 grams a day has great benefits.

But the anti-inflammatory powers of cereals aren't the only way grains protect your heart -- eating more grains knocks less healthy foods off your plate and improves your gut biome, too. The Cleveland Clinic recommends three to six servings a day and suggests you make sure to eat only 100% whole-wheat pasta and 100% whole-grain cereals (no sugar, syrup or honey added). So go with the 100% whole grain!



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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