Fiber for Longevity

Posted by on Feb 22, 2011 in Blog | 3 Comments

A recent study published in Archives of Internal Medicine supports the correlation between a high fiber diet and a longer lifespan.  Furthermore, adults who ate a high fiber diet experienced fewer incidences of infectious, cardiovascular, and respiratory diseases. In the study, high fiber was defined at 26 grams a day for women and 29 grams a day for men.  A low fiber diet was between 11 and 13 grams per day.

In general, the typical American diet does not contain a lot of fiber.  According to one source, Americans consume an average of 12 grams of fiber a day.  High fiber foods include whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

As an acupuncturist, I recommend that my patients to try to ingest at least 30 grams of fiber a day.  Beside the link between fiber and longevity, fiber serves numerous beneficial roles.  The bulkiness of it will help give the sensation of satiety without adding excessive calories. Fiber requires more chewing, with can stimulate gastric secretions and aid in digestion.  Furthermore, fiber decreases bowel transit time, which reduces our exposure to toxins in our stools, and fiber is a substrate for beneficial intestinal flora (the “good” gut bacteria).  Soluble fiber helps lower serum cholesterol, as well as maximizing nutrient absorption.

Eating 30 grams of fiber may sound daunting, but many delicious foods are high in fiber.  Two pieces of Dave’s Killer Powerseed Bread contain 12 grams of fiber; comparable whole grain bread should run between 5 or 6 grams of fiber a slice.  Dried figs and dates have 7 and 10 grams of fiber, respectively, in a 1/2 cup serving, and a medium apple contains about 5 grams of fiber.  Kidney beans, brown rice, kale, collard greens, and broccoli are all high in fiber. By just substituting in some high fiber foods throughout each day, it is easy to ingest 30 grams of fiber.

If you live in Portland and are interested in learning more about acupuncture and dietary therapy to improve your health, call 503.281.6909 to schedule a free consultation.  All and One Acupuncture is a NE Portland acupuncture clinic located at 2163 NE Broadway.

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