Eating a high-fiber diet can have incredible benefits. Not only is fiber a true fat-blaster, but studies have shown that it can be a natural appetite suppressant, keep your blood sugar from spiking, fight inflammation — a common reason for age-related diseases — and even keep you looking and feeling younger!
Fiber may extend your life expectancy.
Research in the Archives of Internal Medicine indicates that fiber may help you live longer, too. Women who consumed the most fiber during a nine-year study were 22 percent less likely to die than those who consumed the least. More specifically, research found that women who had diets high in fiber were up to 59 percent less likely to die from heart disease and respiratory illness or infections.
Fiber is great for your gut.
A high-fiber diet can also keep your gut’s microbiome in balance so that the good bacteria can flourish, which then helps the body produce its own vitamins. That includes biotin, a B vitamin that’s great for strengthening thinning hair. Because fiber fights inflammation, it also helps prevent everything from acne and eczema to sagging skin.
Fiber can help you lose weight.
According to Denise Austin, fitness expert and creator of Fit Over 50 Magazine in partnership with Woman’s World, one of the best-kept secrets for losing weight is fiber. There are many ways you can get more of it into your diet — it’s just a matter of changing up a few simple foods in your diet to higher-fiber alternatives. Many Americans consume far less than the recommended 25 daily grams of fiber, however. And if you want all of those anti-aging benefits too, you’ll need to take in 35 grams of fiber per day.
There are many great nutritious food choices that are high in fiber. Some of Denise’s favorites include beans, artichokes, broccoli, bran flakes, oatmeal, nuts, lentils, artichokes, Brussels sprouts and seasonal blackberries. Here are some swaps you can make to get more much-needed fiber into your daily meals:
|Instead of:||Try Eating:|
|White rice||Spelt or quinoa|
|White-flour spaghetti||Soba noodles or whole grain pasta|
|White bread||Dark rye bread|
|Mashed potatoes||A baked potato with the skin on|
With a few simple swaps, you will boost the fiber in your diet, improve your gut microbiome, and help yourself lose weight.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Fit Over 50.