Why do some people start getting chronic illnesses—like diabetes and heart disease—in middle age…but others stay fit and healthy through their 70s, 80s, and beyond?
Researchers in Australia set out to answer this question with a massive study started more than a decade ago. They followed 1,600 healthy adults aged 49 and older, closely examining their eating habits.
At the end of 10 years, only 250 of the subjects (16%) had achieved what scientists call “successful aging.” This means they were still free of cancer, heart disease, depression, diabetes, memory problems, or other major health issues.
People who remained healthy had one thing in common. Almost all of them ate a lot of fiber.
Subjects with the highest fiber intake were 79% more likely to age successfully.1
The study was published in The Journals of Gerontology and conducted at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research. Dr. Bamini Gopinath was the lead author.
Dr. Gopinath said fiber’s strength in contributing to healthy aging came as a surprise. Scientists expected that people who ate the least amount of sugar would be the healthiest. Consuming less sugar is helpful, the study showed… But eating lots of fiber is an even bigger factor.
“Out of all the variables that we looked at, fiber intake had the strongest influence,” Dr. Gopinath said.
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Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. Researchers don’t know exactly why it is so effective in warding off disease. “We speculate that fiber might reduce inflammation,” said Dr. Gopinath.
Inflammation is at the root of a wide range of illnesses. They include heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. Eating more fiber helps people maintain a healthy weight, stable blood sugar, and good digestion.2
But not all fiber is created equal. Many mainstream doctors will tell you to eat grains to get fiber. This is a mistake. Grains, whether processed or whole, increase inflammation.3
What’s more, wheat, barley, and rye contain gluten. This protein causes digestive trouble in many people.4
Instead, get fiber through fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Women should get at least 25 grams a day. Men at least 38 grams. Most Americans fall far short, getting only 16 grams of fiber a day on average.5
9 Best Sources of Fiber
These nine healthy foods are packed with fiber:
- Almonds (3.4 grams per ounce)
- Artichokes (14 grams per cup)
- Prunes (12 grams per cup)
- Flaxseeds (2.7 grams per tablespoon)
- Apples (5 grams per medium apple. Be sure to eat the peel. That’s where most of the fiber is.)
- Broccoli (5 grams per ounce)
- Chickpeas (11 grams per cup)
- Peas (9 grams per cup)
- Raspberries (8 grams per cup)6,7
But eating more fiber isn’t the only way to stay healthy as you get older…
Researchers in Wisconsin revealed they found a way to reverse up to 20 years of aging in just 6 months in a random group of men as old as 81.
Go here to discover how to ramp up your body’s production of this age-reversing compound on your own—without a doctor.
In Good Health,
Executive Director, INH Health Watch