The Food That Can Slow Brain Aging

Most people know that eating a high fiber diet can help keep their bowels healthy, and some might even be aware of fiber’s ability to regulate blood sugar and weight, but a new discovery found that fiber can actually slow the rate at which the brain ages and reduce the risk of brain disease.

That’s the result of a surprising new study published in Frontiers in Immunology in which scientists discovered that eating more fiber can alleviate brain inflammation. Inflammation in the brain has been linked with aging and numerous brain diseases, including: Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and others.

The Gut-Brain Axis

So, you may be wondering, “how can eating more fiber help fight brain inflammation?” There’s a mechanism in the body called the gut-brain axis, a mechanism that has been found linking the health of the gut to the health of the brain. Unlike Vegas, what happens in our gut doesn’t stay in our gut. Gut microbes are responsible for manufacturing nutrients, reducing gut inflammation and many other functions that directly impact the brain.

According to the new study linking fiber consumption to brain health, the gut-brain axis is at work. To understand, it is important to explain microglia. Microglia are immune system cells that are found in the brain and tend to become overactive and chronically inflamed as we get older. When we eat fibrous foods, bacteria found in our intestines cause the fiber to ferment, producing a naturally-occurring compound known as butyrate. The release of butyrate causes the reduction of brain inflammation and improved memory.

Keep in mind that nutrients and other compounds are absorbed across the intestinal wall directly into the blood, and travels to the brain or other parts of the body, depending where the compounds are needed.

Fiber Up for Fantastic Brain Health

According to the new research, eating a high fiber diet may help to stave off brain inflammation and the brain diseases linked to it. So, what are some of the best sources of fiber?

Beans

Beans are excellent sources of fiber. They vary in exact amounts but 1 cup of cooked chickpeas has about 12 grams, black beans have 15 grams, kidney beans and lentils have 16 grams, adzuki beans have 17 grams, and navy beans come out on top with a whopping 19 grams of fiber per cup of cooked beans.

Related Stories: 7 Ways to Avoid Gas from Beans

Nuts

There is a huge variation in the amount of fiber found in nuts, but the best ones include: Brazil nuts which have 12 grams of fiber per ounce serving, pine nuts which also have 12 grams per ounce serving, and almonds which have 4 grams per ounce serving.

Seeds

Just two tablespoons have a whopping 10 grams of fiber and the same serving of flaxseeds have 4 grams. One-half cup of sunflower seeds has 6 grams of fiber.

Other Great Sources of Fiber

One cup of elderberries has 10 grams of fiber, while the same serving of blackberries or raspberries has 8 grams. One cup of cooked whole oats (not the processed varieties) contains 8 grams of fiber, while the same serving of cooked quinoa or amaranth contains 5 grams.

Whole Grains

Because many people suffer from gluten-sensitivities, I’ve listed the top whole, gluten-free, high-fiber grains. The number of grams of fiber is per cup of cooked whole grain.

Squash

One cup of cooked acorn squash contains 9 grams of fiber, and the same portion of Hubbard squash contains 7 grams while butternut squash contains 6 grams of fiber, making them excellent choices.

It is a good idea to aim for 35 grams of fiber daily.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty, & Cooking.  Follow her work.

 

 

121 comments

hELEN h
hELEN habout a month ago

tyfs

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Hannah K
Hannah K1 months ago

Thanks for this

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Alexandra Richards
Alexandra Richards1 months ago

Thank you.

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heather g
heather g2 months ago

Live for my veggies

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Emma L
Emma L2 months ago

thanks for posting

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Michael Friedmann
Michael Friedmann2 months ago

Thank You for Sharing This !!!

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Diane Wayne
Past Member 2 months ago

cheers

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Kathy G
Kathy G2 months ago

Thank you

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Kathy G
Kathy G2 months ago

Thank you

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Edith B
Edith B2 months ago

Thanks. I eat several of these foods daily.

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