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Why Whole Grains May Help You Live Longer (Plus 5-Star Recipes Galore)

Replacing unhealthy foods with whole grains can improve your health...and potentially lengthen your life.

That's the word from Harvard Medical School.

Here’s a quick rundown from Harvard Health Publications explaining the benefits of eating whole grains, like oats, quinoa, brown rice, and barley, versus refined grains, like white bread and white rice.

Basically, the germ part of the kernel contains the good stuff -- the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, and healthy oils -- all of which are removed in the refining process. Also lost during processing is the bran, which features the fiber. That's bad news for the body.

As the article explains, "Swapping out even relatively small quantities of unhealthy foods for whole grains can lead to large health gains," and that "replacing refined grains and red meats in your daily diet with an equal amount of whole grains can potentially lengthen life by 8% to 20%."

Here's more on the health benefits of whole grains, specifically quinoa.

OK, now that we're all sold on the concept. Let's get to the recipes. Beautiful brown rice, barley, quinoa, oats, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, and more.

A Few 5-Star Recipes from the Whole Grain Hall of Fame

Beaker's Vegetable Barley Soup

Beaker's Vegetable Barley Soup

Photo by CCloves2bake

Find more Barley Recipes.

Megan's Granola

Megan's Granola

Photo by CCloves2bake

Find more Oats Recipes.

Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad

Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad

Photo by CookinBug

Find more Quinoa Recipes.

Cherry Farro Salad with Sweet Vinaigrette

Cherry Farro Salad with Sweet Vinaigrette

Photo by LilSnoo

Mediterranean Brown Rice Salad

Mediterranean Brown Rice Salad

Photo by Linda LMT

Find more Brown Rice Recipes.

Fresh Tabbouleh

Fresh-Tabbouleh

Photo-by-Christina

Find more Bulgur Recipes.

Gluten-Free Stuffing (with Millet)

Gluten-Free Stuffing

Photo by mis7up

Find more Millet Recipes.

Dad's Double Whole Grain Pancakes

Dad's Double Whole Grain Pancakes

Photo by LynnInHK

Take a look at the complete collection of Whole Grain Recipes. And for more info, scope out the Whole Grains Cheat Sheet.

Carl Hanson

About Carl Hanson

Carl will eat that. Share with him @CarlNo9 on Twitter.