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.

The study involved examining the connection between risks related to death and consuming food rich in whole grains from a couple of large studies: over 74,000 females from the Nurses' Health Study conducted from 1984 to 2010 and from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study that included more than 43,000 males, which was conducted from 1986 to 2010. None of the participants had cancer or cardiovascular diseases prior to the start of the studies.

The research found that whole grain consumption was linked to lower overall mortality as well as lower cardiovascular mortality. However, the researchers did not find a link between deaths related to cancer and eating whole grain foods. The researchers of the study suggest that a serving or 28 grams per day, of whole grains was linked with 9 percent lower overall cardiovascular deaths and 5 percent lower overall mortality.

"These findings further support current dietary guidelines that recommend increasing whole grain consumption to facilitate primary and secondary prevention of chronic disease and also provide promising evidence that suggests a diet enriched with whole grains may confer benefits toward extended life expectancy," per the study.

The authors also revealed that people who substituted red meat and ate more whole grain benefited more and reduced their chances of dying from cardiovascular diseases by about 20 percent.

The study also examined the king of whole grains that people ate. The researchers found that those who consumed the bran, or the outer coating of the grain, were healthier. Some of the common whole grains are whole wheat, whole oats and brown rice.

Whole grains are richer in comparison to white rice and white bread. Whole grains include a number of nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium as well as phytochemical, which are plant-based compounds. Whole grains assist in regulating blood sugar, cholesterol and fats and cholesterol. They also prevent damage to the DNA, keep blood vessels healthier and reduce inflammation in the body.

The study has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine.

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