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With a growing complexity of environmental, nutritional and other factors affecting our health, it’s good to know that there are steps we can take to increase our chances of a longer, healthier life. One of those steps, as suggested by various nutritional studies, is consuming more whole grains. The complete grain, including the nutrient-rich germ and bran, can play an important role in living healthy.

Past nutritional studies have found that whole grains may reduce the risk of a variety of conditions, from diabetes to heart disease and more. In June of 2016, a study by Harvard School of Public Health provided further positive evidence that whole grains can contribute to longevity. It found that people who ate more whole grains (approximately 4 servings per day) had a lower risk of dying (22% lower risk of total mortality, 23% lower risk of CVD mortality, and 20% lower risk of cancer mortality) during the study period than those that ate little or no grain. A senior author of the study, Qi Sun, stated, “These findings further support current dietary guidelines that recommend at least 3 daily servings (or 48 grams) of whole grains to improve long-term health and prevent premature death.”

The researchers attributed these results to the bioactive compounds and fiber found in whole grains. Despite the benefits these provide, consuming whole grains is only part of the equation for being healthy. Avoiding highly processed foods that are high in sugar, saturated fats and refined flour is also important. A diet focused on whole foods and whole grains will give your body more of what it needs to survive, healthily and longer-term.

Here are some recipes to get you started with Intelligent Healthful Living®. Each contain simple ways to add whole grains to your diet.

Quinoa Pizza Dough

Quinoa Tortillas

Sesame Crackers

Zucchini Bread

Meat Loaf

Blueberry Muffins

 

References:

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/whole-grains-lower-mortality-rates/

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