5 Reasons To Eat Whole Grains, Because It's As Close As We're Going To Get To The Fountain Of Youth

Big news for anyone interested in health and long life: Two studies this week have given us new reasons to eat whole grains: Specifically, the research found that whole grains contribute to longer life span. So to anyone who enjoys a good bowl of oatmeal or picks the whole grain bread at the store — congratulations! You will probably outlive us all.

The first of these studies, released Monday after initially being recieved back in December, was published in Circulation and was conducted by researchers at Harvard. In analyzing the available studies done on the subject, which included over 700,000 total participants, they found that people who consumed more whole grains were less likely to die during the study period. Meaning whole grains help keep you alive. They recommend that you eat at least three servings of whole grain a day, which they theorize will help prevent pre-mature death.

It is unclear if movie popcorn counts in that total, but I'm going to say that it should because now I don't have to justify eating it anymore.

The second study, which was released Tuesday, was just as awesome, if not even more so. Published in the British Medical Journal, it was also a meta-analysis of previous studies, and it found that:

[Whole] grain intake is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and total cancer, and mortality from all causes, respiratory diseases, infectious diseases, diabetes, and all non-cardiovascular, non-cancer causes.

Like I said: Just as awesome, if not better. Who doesn't love to hear that the brown rice in their stir-fry is actually going to help prevent "mortality from all causes?"

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Unfortunately, most Americans don't eat enough whole grains at the moment, which means chances are goo you should think about upping your intake. And given that the science seems pretty well sold on this whole "whole grain is good for you" thing, here are some additional benefits you can expect from whole grains, now that you're already going to be inhaling them in order to stave off death.

1. Better Cholesterol

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Studies have found that whole grain can lower your cholesterol, thereby reducing your risk of heart disease.

2. More Fiber

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Whole grain increases the amount of fiber in your diet, which is good for everything from digestion to blood sugar.

3. Lower Risk of Inflammation

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Weirdly, whole grain can actually reduce your risk of developing asthma, as well as other inflammatory conditions, at least based on preliminary research. It's kind of amazing what this stuff can do, really.

4. More Nutrients

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Depending what kinds of whole grains you're eating, you could also be getting a lot of essential nutrients. From Vitamin C and Vitamin B to things like zinc and iron, different whole grains come with different benefits — but having them as part of your diet is good for a lot of different things.

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