We are not getting enough fiber in our diets. The “Standard American Diet” (SAD) is not a fiber-rich diet. Yet, a new study concludes that dietary fiber is beneficial, especially to older Americans.
Dietary Fiber Intake and Mortality in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study
In an article in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the conclusion of the study said, “Dietary fiber may reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular, infectious, and respiratory diseases. Making fiber-rich food choices more often may provide significant health benefits.”
Dietary Fiber: Study’s Findings Suggest High Fiber Diets May Increase Lifespan
“Dietary fiber, particularly those from whole grains, has been shown by a recent study published online in the Archives of Internal Medicine and reported by Webmd.com, to help reduce the risk of deaths caused by heart and respiratory diseases.
‘Our analysis adds to the literature and suggests that dietary fiber is associated with a decreased likelihood of death,’ says study researcher Yikyung Park, ScD, a staff scientist at the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Md.
The study found that men and women who consumed the most dietary fiber ‘were 22% less likely to die from any cause when compared to study participants who ate the least amount of fiber,’ according to Webmd, which added that ‘the protective effect came mainly from cereal fiber in grains, not other sources of fiber such as fruits and vegetables.’
Diets rich in fiber tended to have the effect of decreasing high blood-sugar and cholesterol levels. Experts also suspect that fibers may possess some anti-inflammatory properties which may help explain their positive effect on diseases originating from or linked to inflammation, although more studies need to be performed in order to confirm this theory.”
There are many benefits to exercise. Weight loss. Building muscle mass. Heart health. But, brain health as well? Yes, a study indicates that regular, consistent walking can increase your memory!
Aerobic Exercise Boosts Memory
“A year of moderate exercise doesn’t just bulk up muscles—it beefs up the brain, too, a new study finds. A memory center in the brain called the hippocampus shrinks a little bit each year with age, but older adults who walked routinely for a year actually gained hippocampus volume, researchers report in a study to appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“I think it’s a very exciting contribution to see that walking at a fairly vigorous rate will actually affect a key structure of the brain,” says neuroscientist Carl Cotman of the University of California, Irvine, who was not involved in the study. “So for healthy elderly, it’s good news and would hopefully encourage people to figure that exercise is worth it.”
In the study, 60 adults aged 55 to 80 scaled up gradually until they walked for 40 minutes three times a week, enough to get their heart rates up. Sixty other participants did toning workouts that included weight training, yoga sessions and stretching for the same amount of time. After a year of toning, a part of these subjects’ brains called the anterior hippocampus lost a little over 1 percent of its volume. In contrast, a year of aerobic exercise led to about a 2 percent increase in anterior hippocampus volume.
Study participants who got their heart rates up performed slightly better on a memory test and had higher levels of a brain-aiding molecule called BDNF, the researchers found.”