Women who get plenty of wholegrains in their diets may lower their risk of developing high blood pressure, a large study found.

Researchers found that middle-aged and older women who ate the most wholegrains were less likely than those with the lowest intakes to develop high blood pressure over a 10-year period, according to a report on News.com.au.

For the study, researchers at Harvard University used data from the Women's Health Study, which has followed nearly 40,000 US female health professionals beginning in 1992.

Click here to read the News.com.au story

The benefit was modest. Women who consumed the most wholegrains had an 11 percent lower risk of developing high blood pressure than those with the lowest intakes.

But the findings add to evidence of the cardiovascular benefits of wholegrains such as oatmeal, bran and brown rice. Past studies have tied diets rich in these foods to lower risks of heart disease and stroke. Whether wholegrains benefit blood pressure has been unclear, however.