How to Live Longer: Eat Whole Grains & Bran

whole grains

Medically reviewed in July 2021

Turn up the life-lengthening powers of your baked goods by seeking out this essential ingredient: bran.

Whole grains do great things for both your heart and your longevity. But research shows that bran -- the sturdy outer layer of cereal grains -- may be particularly helpful in discovering how to live longer. In a study of women with type 2 diabetes, those who ate more whole grains -- especially bran -- enjoyed a big dip in their mortality rates, particularly their risk of dying from heart disease.

Longer Life for All
Of course, women with diabetes aren't the only ones who benefit from higher intakes of whole grains and bran. Lots of other studies suggest they're good for all -- man or woman, healthy or not. A preference for whole-grain cereals, breads, and pasta could mean lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar; improved arterial health; and less insulin resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress. (Is your blood sugar on the high side? Try this long list of yummy edibles that can help get it back down.)

A Grain of Good Taste
What's so great about unrefined grains? Plenty. They have more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than refined grains do. Plus, whole grains have an abundance of antioxidant compounds you won't find on nutrition labels -- compounds that may play a role in some of these grains' health-promoting properties, including how to live longer.

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