Thoughts on Better Aging

Fiber Helps You Live Longer

April 11th, 2019

A fiber-rich diet promotes a longer and healthier life

You may already know that getting enough fiber is key to keeping your digestive system running smoothly. But did you know that fiber can actually affect many other systems in the body, so much so that getting enough fiber can help you stay healthier and live longer?

According to a study recently published in the Journals of Gerontology, individuals who eat a fiber-rich diet are 80 percent more likely to live longer and stay healthier. Specifically, the individuals in the study consumed an average of 29 grams of fiber per day and, at the end of the 10-year study period, enjoyed good cognitive and physical health and were free of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

5 Ways Fiber Supports Longevity

Cutting Cholesterol: Fiber helps reduce cholesterol (especially “bad” cholesterol”) by binding to bile acids. Once this happens, the body needs to produce more bile acids to aid in digestion, and it pulls cholesterol from the blood to do so.

Reducing Diabetes Risk: When you eat high-fiber foods, the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream is slower, which means blood sugar levels also rise more slowly. Avoiding blood sugar spikes helps the pancreas keep up with insulin production and provides protection against type 2 diabetes.

Weight Control: Fiber helps fill you up, so you are less likely to feel hungry after you eat. This can help with portion control and weight control, so you can avoid the many negative health consequences of obesity.

Promoting a Healthy Gut: Fiber ferments in the digestive system, providing food for the healthy bacteria you want to thrive in your body. A healthy balance of bacteria in the gut helps promote overall health and longevity in many ways, such as by strengthening the immune system.

Reducing Inflammation: Chronic inflammation is associated with many health problems, including Alzheimer’s, cancer, and arthritis. Fiber helps fight inflammation in two main ways. First, it helps support a healthy gut, which will reduce inflammation. Secondly, many fiber-rich foods contain other nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties, such as polyphenols and magnesium.

Tips for Boosting Your Fiber Intake

Although many packaged foods contain fiber, most of this fiber comes from additives. It’s not clear whether these additives have the same benefits as natural fiber. So, when trying to boost your fiber intake, focus on whole foods that are naturally high in fiber, such as whole grains, beans, avocados, green peas, sweet potatoes, and pears. Many of these foods contain both soluble and insoluble fiber—two kinds of fiber that each play a role in keeping your body healthy. To avoid gas and bloating, increase your daily fiber intake gradually and be sure to drink plenty of water.

Want to learn more about anti-aging nutrition? Contact Renew Youth today.

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