OATS. Well, oats plus a whole diet of unprocessed food. Apparently, according to a new study being investigated by the International Longevity Centre.
In the news this morning is the story of a large Irish family that has won a Guinness World Record for being the world's longest-living family. The 13 adult siblings have racked up 1075 years between them so far.
Good genes or good living? Sure to be a mixture of both, but the family shares some details of their diet in this morning's The Telegraph and on BBC Breakfast News, It's piqued the interest of scientists at the prestigious research body, ILC, who want to examine their diet in more detail.
The key seems to be their consumption of oats, twice a day, every day.
"Porridge before sleep and after sleep. People thought it was unusual, but now the living proof is there for all to see." Leo Donnelly, youngest sibling
The oats were part of a simple, unprocessed diet borne from the "natural cycle of food" on the family's farm. Youngest sibling, Leo Donnelly, explains: "Our diet has never been from processed of polluted foods. We worked with nature, everything eaten was either grown or reared by us....The vegetables we ate we had grown, the fruit we ate we picked, the eggs laid were from our chickens, the bacon came from our pigs, the bread we made by hand."
So of course there's a much bigger picture around the oats...but there's already a lot of evidence that oats are a brilliant thing to eat. They've long been classified as a 'superfood' that's seen as positive addition to a healthy adult diet (as they're known to regulate blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure, and protect against high cholesterol and heart disease...there's a specific antioxidant only found in oats that minimises plaque build-up in artery walls, reducing artery-hardening).
But they're also a great food to build into a baby's diet, right from the start.
Of course we can't know AT ALL if they're going to extend our baby's lifespan, but we can know for sure that they're getting a nice, healthy meal.
Here are some of my most all-time popular (and unusual) oat recipes for babies from 6m onwards:
And of course, the mighty Homemade Two-Ingredient Teething Biscuits