Can a High Fibre Diet Help You Live Longer?

Two new studies have shown a convincing link between eating plenty of fibre and potentially increasing your lifespan. Here’s why, and how to add more of it to your diet.

Two new studies, one done in New Zealand and another in the USA, have presented evidence that following a high fibre diet will help contribute to longevity and prevent the development of chronic disease. Below, we take a sneak peek at the various findings of these studies, as well as some helpful tips on incorporating more fibre into your daily eating.

So, why is fibre so miraculous?

The study conducted in New Zealand focused on finding a link between consuming a high-fibre diet and a reduced risk of contracting a chronic disease. It was concluded that those who ate plenty of grains, fruit and vegetables had a 16 – 24% less chance of dying as a result of heart disease, stroke, Type-2 Diabetes and/or colon cancer.

The second study from the USA focused on seeing whether a fibre-rich diet would help to reduce inflammation in the body. This was in response to The World Health Organisation rating chronic inflammatory diseases as the greatest threat to human health. The conclusion? When observing rats that ate a high-fibre diet, it was evident that the fibre promoted the growth of good bacteria in the gut and drastically reduced inflammation within the intestines.

In short, fibre = fabulous.

Other benefits of eating lots of fibre

According to registered dietitian, Amanda Weber, consuming plenty of fibre will also help to combat constipation, aid in digestion and weight loss, and stabilise blood glucose. “When your blood glucose levels spike, so too do your insulin levels and this can result in increased inflammation within the body,” she says.

How to eat more fibre

So, just how much fibre should we be consuming daily? According to Amanda, 30 – 40 grams per day is ideal. “Fibre is found only in plant products and there are two different types: soluble and insoluble fibre, both of which are very good for you.”

She also has some tips for effortlessly adding more of it to our diets. “You’ll find soluble fibre in oats, grains, peas and legumes – this is the type that is soluble in water and swells, promoting healthy digestion. Insoluble fibre, on the other hand, can be found in raspberries, oranges, grapefruit, raisins, dried fruit and sweet potato,” she adds.

To put things into perspective, one cup of oats contains approximately 8.2 grams of fibre, while a cup of raspberries contains 8.0 grams and an orange 3.0 grams. You’ll want to fill up on as many of these fibre-rich foods as possible. Other delicious foods that are chockfull of fibre are:

  • Pears
  • Apples (with the skin)
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Sweet corn
  • Whole-wheat pasta
  • Barley
  • Bran Flakes
  • Quinoa
  • Beans
  • Chia seeds

Remember, if you’re unsure whether you’re currently following a healthy, balanced, fibre-filled diet, it’s beneficial to visit a registered dietitian for a programme tailored to your health and wellness goals.

Sources:

https://www.myfooddiary.com/resources/ask_the_expert/soluble_insoluble_fiber.asp

https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/raw-oatmeal-fiber-10783.html https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/high-fiber-foods/art-20050948

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