Who doesn’t want to age gracefully? While there’s still no magic pill, new research points to a surprising ingredient that may help.
In a study, people who ate the most fiber were more likely to age successfully over 10 years. Researchers determined that people aged successfully if, after a decade, they didn’t have problems such as disability, depression, cognitive impairment, respiratory issues, or chronic disease like cancer or heart disease.
Researchers suspect that eating a high-fiber diet may help protect against inflammation, which is linked with many signs of aging. Most Americans don’t eat enough of this important nutrient. Adults should aim for about 25 grams of fiber per day. The following are some of the best sources, presented with typical portion sizes and the amount of fiber in grams:
- ¾ cup high-fiber cereal: 14 g
- ½ cup navy beans: 9 g
- ½ cup lentils: 8 g
- Pear: 5 g
- Sweet potato: 4 g
- 3 cups popcorn: 3.5 g
- 1 oz. almonds: 3 g
- ½ cup whole wheat pasta: 3 g
In addition to increasing your fiber intake, there are many steps you can take to stay well and reduce your risk for disease as you age. They include:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat a nutritious diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean meats, beans, nuts, and seeds.
- Drink lots of water.
- Stay physically active.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Keep in touch with family and friends.
- Visit your doctor regularly and receive any health screenings or vaccinations you need.
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