Fiber is the inedible part of plants and whole grains that has been shown to lower the risk from certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes and assist with weight management. Fiber helps to control blood glucose as it is slowly broken down through digestion and also improves healthy cholesterol metabolism. Prior research indicates that it can also lower blood pressure, reduce systemic inflammation and bind with potential carcinogens for removal from the body.
High Fiber Intake Linked to Lower Disease Risk
research consisted of nearly 400,000 men and women taking part in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study over a period of nine years. Participants answered a food questionnaire at the beginning of the study and cause of death was determined by linking personal records to national registries to establish dietary fiber intake over the period.
Researchers found that fiber intake ranged from 13 to 29 grams per day for men and 11 to 26 grams for women. Over the nine year course of the study nearly 32,000 participants died. When the average amount of fiber consumed daily was analyzed by the researchers, they found a significantly decreased risk of death for those with the highest fiber consumption.
High Fiber Diet Shown to Lower Heart Disease Incidence by up to 59%
cardiovascular, infectious and respiratory diseases was reduced by 24 percent to 56 percent in men and 34 percent to 59 percent in women with the highest fiber intakes.
Based on the results of this study, researchers recommend a daily fiber intake of 14 grams for every 1,000 calories consumed. Vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains were found to provide optimal disease protection, while fruit consumption was not found to lower the risk of total, cardiovascular, cancer and respiratory disease deaths. Individuals looking to lower their disease risk profile will want to target 30 grams of fiber each day for optimal health.