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.