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This Classic Breakfast Food Is A+ For Healthy Aging, Says A Longevity Expert

Jamie Schneider
mbg Associate Beauty & Wellness Editor
By Jamie Schneider
mbg Associate Beauty & Wellness Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and wellness. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
Image by Nataša Mandić x Stocksy / Stocksy
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January 30, 2021

We've said it time and again: The best foods for longevity are simple whole plants. No need to comb through every aisle of the supermarket—just stick to the basics along the perimeter. Gil Blander, Ph.D., internationally recognized biologist, longevity expert, and founder of InsideTracker, agrees: His all-time favorite "superfood" for longevity is one you likely already have in your breakfast rotation. 

"I would say that oatmeal is a very good dish," he states on the mindbodygreen podcast. "Because [it has] a very high amount of fiber." Below, he breaks down the classic nosh: 

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How oatmeal supports longevity.

We know fiber is good for longevity and overall health (it keeps you fuller for longer, reducing blood sugar spikes, and helps manage cholesterol). And while most of the fiber-fueled hype seems to lean toward beans and dark, leafy greens, oatmeal certainly deserves some of the fanfare. In fact, if you start your day with 1 cup of oats, you've already consumed 8 grams! Better yet, oats boast beta-glucan—a particularly healthy dietary fiber—which is not only great for heart health but has even been shown to help support immune health, too

Aside from the fiber content, oats also contain significant amounts of vitamin E, phytic acid, phenolic compounds, and avenanthramides, which can help reduce inflammation, according to one systematic review. Plus, oats (no matter whether they're rolled or steel-cut) are whole grains, which have been shown to support lower cholesterol levels. Blander and his team at Inside Tracker even published a paper on nutrition's effects on blood biomarkers, noting, "There is a precedent in the literature for consumption of both oatmeal and green tea and reduction of LDL levels." 

All that to say, oatmeal is a solid breakfast choice to help keep your heart health, cholesterol, and immunity on par—all of which are crucial for healthy aging. Perhaps whip up this rich, blueberry cheesecake overnight oats jar, or a savory zucchini oatmeal bowl to switch up the flavor—maybe even sip on some green tea, too, for good measure. 

The takeaway. 

Oatmeal is a staple breakfast item—but according to Blander, you can't go wrong with this classic. Due to its rich fiber content and other longevity-supporting nutrients, it's a top-notch meal to rely on, on the regular.  

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Jamie Schneider
Jamie Schneider
mbg Associate Beauty & Wellness Editor

Jamie Schneider is the Associate Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.