Fiber’s reputation as a nutritional hero just got even sexier. In fact, fiber may be the real fountain of youth. That was the upshot of a new Australian study that followed the diets and health statuses of over 1,600 adults for a ten-year period. At the beginning of the study all of the study subjects were age 49 or older and free of any form of chronic disease. Over the ten-year study period only 15.5 percent of the subjects remained disease-free. Looking at various aspects of diet, the researchers noted that fiber intake proved to be the most telling predictor of healthy aging—and by a long shot. Study subjects that consumed the most fiber were 80 percent more likely to remain fully functional and free of any form of chronic disease.
I am not at all surprised by these findings. Over the past 20 years, fiber has garnered a wildly impressive list of full-service health benefits including quieting appetite, lowering glucose and cholesterol levels, improving digestive function, and most notably, feeding the all-important microbiome. Remember your microbiome defines your health destiny, and what nourishes and keeps it in good working order is fiber. Be sure to eat lots of it!
(Journals of Gerontology, June 1, 2016, online)