Out of 16 siblings total, 13 siblings are still alive, ranging from 72 to 93 years old.
“The key is that you need to get your oats at night,” 72-year-old Leo Donnelly, the youngest of the 13 siblings told The Telegraph. “We’ve always followed Daddy’s habit of that nice warm bite before sleep. Porridge at around 10 p.m., then porridge again for breakfast at 7 a.m. Cooked oats, milk, perhaps a spot of jam on top.”
“It has always stood us well, porridge before sleep and after sleep,” he added. “People thought it was unusual, but now the living proof is there for all to see.”
It makes sense, since oatmeal is full of good-for-your nutrients, like fiber. In fact, one South Korean study found that for every 10 extra grams of fiber added to your daily diet, your risk of premature death may actually drop by 11 percent. Fiber from cereal grains had the most protective effect, since they’re high in antioxidants, the researchers found.
Plus, packing your diet with fiber-rich whole grains can help improve your cholesterol levels and lower your of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, according to the American Heart Association.
If you’re looking to boost your fiber intake, just be sure you’re actually choosing whole grains, rather than the refined kind that’s typically found in white bread. (Here are two easy ways to hack your oatmeal for more nutrition.)
It’s worthy to note that the Donnelly family also grew up on a farm, so the oats they eat are actually grown on their land, along with everything else in their diet. All of the meat, vegetables, fruit, bread, and eggs they eat are sourced from their farm and never processed.
“There was never a fat Donnelly raised,” says Leo.
Bottom line: Consuming hearty-healthy foods like oatmeal—whether it’s for breakfast or dinner—is never a bad idea, and the Donnelly family is living proof.
And while your diet plays a critical role in your health, there are other habits you should consider if you want to live better for longer. Check out these 15 ways to take better care of your body so you can live for as long as possible.