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Eat fibre to live longer

Eat fibre to live longer

They key to a longer and healthier is a diet rich in fibre, experts claim.

The benefits of fibre on our bowel movements are well known, but new research suggests the dietary material can also work wonders on other areas of our body including lowering the risk of depression, dementia, cancer, heart disease and strokes.

Lead by Dr Bamini Gopinath, from The Westmead Institute for Medical Research in Australia, she and her team used data from the Blue Mountains Eye Study to compare the relationship between carbohydrate nutrition and healthy aging. The Blue Mountains Eye Study was a population-based study examining more than 1,600 adults, all over the age of 49, to determine the prevalence of open-angle glaucoma (eye disease) and ocular hypertension (high eye pressure).

“Out of all the variables that we looked at, fibre intake - which is a type of carbohydrate that the body can't digest - had the strongest influence,” Dr Gopinath noted.

“Essentially, we found that those who had the highest intake of fibre or total fibre actually had an almost 80 per cent greater likelihood of living a long and healthy life over a 10-year follow-up.

“That is, they were less likely to suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, dementia, depression and functional disability.”

Foods which have high fibre content include beans and pulses, wholegrain, wholemeal, nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, vegetables, oats and bran.

The medical expert goes on to note this is the first study to look at this relationship, and the significant result should be followed up with further research.

The latest results follow on from similar research by the team at Westmead, who last year (15) published a study in The Journals of Gerontology stating that adults who closely follow recommended national dietary guidelines were less likely to suffer diseases and disability in old age, and had good functional and mental health status.

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