Eating quinoa and whole grains every day could help you live longer

Harvard study finds whole grains and cereal fibres reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes and other chronic diseases

Quinoa, the protein-rich superfood heralded by foodies and the middle class alike, could be key to avoiding a premature death.

Quinoa has long been praised for its health benefits and became a staple of fashionable diets such as the 5:2 in recent months.

But aside from being on-trend and low in calories, scientists believe eating a bowl of quinoa, whole grains and cereal fibres each day could reduce the risk of premature death caused by heart disease, cancer, respiratory ailments, diabetes and other chronic diseases by 17 per cent.

Researchers at the Harvard Public School of Health analysed the results of the National Institute of Health, American Association of Retired Persons study into diet and health, according to Farm Weekly.

The original study followed over 365,000 members of AARP, an organisation where members are aged 50 and over, for 14 years.

A team led by Dr Lu Qi found this 17 per cent reduction was associated with those who consumed 34 grams of whole grains per day in comparison with those eating 3.98 grams daily.

Higher whole grain consumption was associated with an 11 per cent reduced risk of death from respiratory disease and 48 per cent reduced risk from diabetes.

Meanwhile, higher consumption of cereal fibres corresponded with a 15 per cent reduced risk of mortality from cancer.

This reduced risk was found even when taking into account lifestyle and health factors such as obesity, smoking and the amount of physical activity undertaken by each person.

The authors concluded: "Our study indicates that intake of whole grains and cereal fibre may reduce the risk of all-cause mortality and death from chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease.

“Our findings should motivate future studies especially clinical trials and experimental studies to further testify the beneficial effects of whole grains and potential effective components such as fibre and other nutrients, and explore mechanisms."

The study, 'Consumption of whole grains and cereal fiber and total and cause-specific mortality: prospective analysis of 367,442 individuals', is published in the journal BMC Medicine