Here’s another reason to make sure you eat lots of fibre. If you do, you might be less likely to die prematurely from a range of illnesses — including heart disease, cancer, and infection, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
We already know that fibre promotes weight loss, lowers cholesterol, and protects against heart disease. This work suggests that it has broader health benefits and may prevent other common killers.
Researchers followed 400,000 people for 9 years, and found that people who ate the most fibre were 22 percent less likely to have died of any cause during the study than people who ate the least, when they took into account age as well as health and lifestyle factors.
Fibre is found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. Most Canadians get only half of the recommended amount. After the age of 50, women should get 21 grams, men 30. For example, a half cup of raw almonds has nearly 9 grams, a cup of cooked oatmeal has 4 grams and half a cup of pitted prunes has about 6 grams.
The researchers say the bottom line is: eat as much fibre as possible.