It’s no secret that exercise and a balanced diet promote longevity and well-being. Now, a new Australian study claims that eating more fiber can boost your chances of living to a ripe old age disease-free. Study participants who consumed the most fiber were 80% more likely to avert hypertension, diabetes, dementia, cancer, stroke and depression in their lifetime.
“In our study, the adults who reached old age, disease-free and fully functional, were those in the highest group of fiber consumption (37 grams per day),” says associate professor and lead study author Bamini Gopinath, PhD, of The Westmead Institute for Medical Research. “This is probably the approximate amount needed to see the benefits,” she says. The study also found that increased fiber consumption had a greater impact on overall health than sugar intake and glycemic index.
To slow the effects of Father Time, make an effort to consume a wide variety of fiber-rich foods on a daily basis. Smart choices include whole-grain breads and cereals, beans, lentils, fruits and veggies. Gopinath adds that eating such foods “is likely to have an overall protective effect against chronic diseases and functional disability.”