Fiber, the Secret to a Healthier Life

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Now and then, someone comes forward and claims to have the secret to a healthier life. This one is all about foods rich in fiber and how they help you live longer, without the disease, according to a new study.

Fruits and whole grains help you remain functional and disease-free even while you’re aging, found the study, published in Journals of Gerontology recently. The study focused on approximately 1.600 Australian adults. The top fiber consumers were 80 percent more likely to have stronger health during the aging process.

The Australian team of researchers found an association, not precisely a cause-and-effect link. But the scientists were not surprised by the findings because numerous studies prove fiber’s protective influence against many chronic diseases.

What does healthier life mean?

The research team set the parameters for a healthier life. “Successful aging” meant that, as the study subjects aged, they did not have a physical disability, depression, breathing problems or chronic health issues – cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease.

The study participants, who were 49 or older, were tracked for a full decade, starting in 1994. In the beginning, none of them were suffering from cancer or heart disease. The researchers studied their dietary routines while zooming in on how much sugar, carbohydrates, and fiber they consumed.

15.5 percent of the participants aged successfully after a decade. Those who ate around 30 grams of fiber per day, the recommended level, by eating whole grain bread and cereals, fruit, vegetables, and legumes, had the best health.

On the other extreme, people who consumed below average fiber had the worst health of the survey.

On an interesting note, the scientists did not find any link between blood sugar levels and the impact of carbohydrates on the aging process.

The research on fiber benefits is an ongoing process. “Our observations need to be confirmed by other large studies, and we can’t make recommendations at this stage such as pushing for a more plant-based diet,” said study lead author Bamini Gopinath, an associate professor in the University of Sydney’s Westmead Institute for Medical Research.

The benefits of fiber

Nuts, seeds, beans, avocados, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, oranges, carrots, leafy greens, corn, peas, popcorn, bran cereals, and oatmeal are some of the foods which are very rich in fiber.

But why does fiber work so well? Because it keeps blood sugar levels low and minimizes inflammation in the body, one of the leading factors of aging and chronic conditions. Also, if you eat fiber-rich foods, you will feel full after you will have eaten less.

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