Want to Live Longer? Eat More Fiber-Rich Foods

Want to Live Longer? Eat More Fiber-Rich Foods

Just when you thought you'd heard everything about the health benefits of fiber (less constipation, lower LDL cholesterol, better blood sugar, easier weight loss), a new one crops up -- and this one's a big deal: longer life.

Get plenty of fiber (the recommended 25 to 30 grams a day) and you'll be 22% less likely to kick the bucket early. It's easy: Check out the fiber in 1 cup of these:

  • Beans: 15 grams
  • Peas: 9 grams
  • Raspberries: 8 grams
  • Broccoli: 6 grams
  • Corn, 4 grams
  • Oatmeal: 4 grams
  • Cheerios: 3 grams
  • Pear: 5 grams
  • Apple: 4 grams
  • Two slices of whole-wheat bread: 4 grams
  • A quarter cup of almonds: 4 grams
  • A tablespoon of psyllium husks: 5 grams

Eating high-fiber foods can also cut your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, breathing problems, and help you lose weight.

Convert refined-grain side dishes to fiber-rich 100% whole-grain versions and you'll also get the vitamins, minerals, and dozens of health-enhancing phytochemicals in grain's innermost part, the kernel. (Along with the fiber-rich bran layer, the kernel is usually processed out in refined-grain products.) Start by substituting brown rice (4 grams per cup) for white rice (1 gram per cup). Then, get to know barley (6 grams) and quinoa (5 grams). Cook up a pot of whole-wheat spaghetti (6 grams). In a hurry? Reach for whole-wheat couscous (7 grams) and you'll have a fiber-rich side dish in a flash.

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