Can Eating Whole Grains Extend Your Life?

Grains, especially whole grains, are an essential part of a healthy diet. All types of grains are good sources of complex carbohydrates and some key vitamins and minerals. Grains are also naturally low in fat. All of this makes grains a healthy option. A new study shows that whole grain foods are so healthy that a person’s risk of an early death drops with every serving added to their daily meals and snacks. 

  • To eat more whole grains, substitute a whole-grain product for a refined product – such as eating whole-wheat bread instead of white bread or brown rice instead of white rice. It’s important to substitute the whole-grain product for the refined one, rather than adding the whole-grain product.

A new Harvard research has revealed that eating whole grain foods such as porridge may increase longevity.

Many dieticians and healthcare professionals recommend consuming whole grain food items to keep healthy and stay away from various medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. However, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, suggest that there is a link between eating whole grain foods and living long.

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Whole grains are so healthy that a person’s risk of an early death drops with every serving added to a daily diet, according to findings published online Jan. 5 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

“We saw clear evidence that the more whole grain intake, the lower the mortality rate is,” said Dr. Qi Sun, an assistant professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. “When we looked at risk of death from heart disease, there was an even stronger association.”

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For millennia, the grains humans ate came straight from the stalk. That means they got a carbohydrate package rich in fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, plant enzymes, hormones, and hundreds of other phytochemicals.

Even after we learned how to grind grain, we still got all of the goodness that grains pack in their three layers. Whole grains have a tough, fibrous outer layer called bran that protects the inside of the kernel. The interior contains mostly the starchy endosperm. Its job is to provide stored energy for the germ, the seed’s reproductive kernel, which nestles inside the endosperm. The germ is rich in vitamins, minerals, and unsaturated oils.

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photo credit: Flickr/Rowen Robonson  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cookingsoftwareaustralia/15369076687/

Barley – Glossary Entry – Hulled barley (or covered barley) is eaten after removing the inedible, fibrous, outer hull. Once removed, it is called dehulled barley (or pot barley or scotch barley). Considered a whole grain, dehulled barley still has its bran and germ, making it a nutritious and popular health food.

Read more at culinaryglossary.info/b/barley/

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