Why Eating Breakfast Is Important: The Benefits

(Photo by Jim Barcus/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)

The secret to living a long life? According to this Irish family, eating oatmeal in the morning — and at night!

According to, the Donnelly family from County Armagh, Ireland range in age from 72 to 93 years old. The 13 siblings are the subjects of the recent BBC documentary “World’s Oldest Family,” and credit eating oats at both 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. everyday.

“We’ve always followed Daddy’s habit of that nice warm bite before sleep,” said Leo Donnelly, 72, the youngest of the siblings, to reporters. “People thought it was unusual, but now the living proof is there for all to see.”

Now while most people would be would love to eat pancakes twice a day, it’s important to note that the Donnelly family eats whole grain oats, which means that eating sugar-laden oatmeal from packs will not reap the same benefits. Harvard studies found that people who ate two to three servings of whole grains reduced their risk of getting diabetes, inflammatory conditions, and for women, heart disease. Other studies found that regular breakfast eating also reduces these risks, including cholesterol and high blood pressure.

The Donnelly’s longevity can also be credited to their growing up on a farm, eating only freshly prepared food, abstaining generally from alcohol, and working the fields. Breakfast every morning (and possibly every night) is the start, but to truly live to be 100 years old, you need that healthy diet and exercise.

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