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8 high-fiber foods that the longest-lived humans on the planet eat

blue zones diet

Solid soups filled with beans and herbs, fermented breads like sourdough and wine are all staples in many of the blue zones.Westend61 via Getty Images

  • Blue Zones are areas of the world where people live the longest and healthiest lives.

  • Their diet includes plenty of carbohydrates and fiber, an important nutrient for digestion.

  • High-fiber foods common in blue zones include breads, beans, greens, and nuts.

If you want to live a long, healthy life, there is good evidence that it is important to get enough fiber.

Foods rich in fiber, including lots of carbohydrates, are prominent in diets in the blue zones, areas of the world where people live the longest, healthiest lives, according to research.

Blue Zones represent a wide range of cuisines, such as Japanese, Greek, Italian and Costa Rican. While the specific foods vary, common high-fiber foods such as beans, nuts, whole grains, herbs and green vegetables form the backbone of Blue Zone diets.

Research suggests getting enough fiber is important for digestive health, stable blood sugar and prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Foods rich in fiber can also help with weight loss by keeping you full after eating.

To reap the benefits, the FDA recommends consuming about 28 grams of fiber a day (or between 21-38 grams, depending on your total caloric needs).

Start adding more fiber to your diet by incorporating Blue Zone staples, from cabbage and kale to bread and oatmeal.

Nuts and seeds

nuts seeds almonds peanuts walnuts snack healthy

Nuts and seeds are rich in healthy fats, vitamins and minerals as well as fiber.bymuratdeniz / Getty Images

Nuts and seeds have a bad reputation in the diet world for having a high calorie density, with only a handful packing up to 200 calories. But they also provide a wealth of nutrients, including plenty of fiber.

"Nuts used to be perceived as unhealthy, but they are one of the best things you can put in your mouth," said pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Robert Lustig previously to Insider.

One serving of 1 ounce of almonds, pistachios, pine nuts or pecans contains one tenth of your daily recommended fiber intake.

Chia seeds provide the most value for money in fiber, with 35% of your daily recommendation in two tablespoons.

Flax and pumpkin seeds also provide a large portion of fiber, with 28% and 19% daily recommendation per serving, respectively. and ounce serving.

beans

beans

From chickpeas to edamame, all beans contain fiber as well as protein.Wulf Voss / EyeEm / Getty Images

Beans are a cornerstone of healthy eating in the blue zones. Dan Buettner, who popularized the Blue Zones diet, recommends eating at least half a cup of beans daily for health.

There are many varieties of beans, from black beans, to small Adzuki beans, to light green edamame or soybeans. All contain fiber as well as protein and other nutrients.

Some of the highest fiber bean types include:

  • Navy prayers: 10 grams per half cup

  • White beans: 9 grams per half cup

  • Adzuki beans: 8.4 grams per half cup

  • Black beans: 8.3 grams per half cup

  • Kidney beans: 8 grams per half cup

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage

Broccoli in a frying pan.

Crispy vegetables are a great source of fiber.Joey Ingelhart / Getty Images

Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, are often reviled because of their characteristic strong, sometimes bitter taste.

But the crispy vegetables are nutritional powerhouses with tons of vitamins A and C as well as polyphenols, plant compounds with healthy antioxidant benefits.

Kale, cress, bok choy and collar green are included in the cruciferous family along with Brussels sprouts.

Each of them has an average of about five grams of fiber per. cup, so tossing them in a salad or stir-fry will get you well on your way to meeting your daily fiber recommendations.

For an added probiotic bonus, consider traditional fermented versions of vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi.

Whole grains such as steel-cut oats and barley

steel-cut oats

Steel-cut oats are a filling whole-grain snack full of fiber. ISLANDJohn Sciulli / Getty Images for Burt's Bees

Since fiber is a type of carbohydrate, carbohydrate-rich foods are an excellent source to add more to your diet.

Whole grains are minimally processed, which means that they retain more of the nutrients in the plant, including fiber.

Some rich sources of whole grain fibers are:

Whole grains also contain essential amino acids, which combined with nutrients in beans can provide a complete source of protein.

Dishes based on rice and beans are extremely common staples around the world, including the blue zones.

Bread

Is sourdough bread healthy

Fear not bread - some of the healthiest people in the world enjoy it regularly.pidjoe / Getty Images

Bread is another stigmatized food in many diet circles, but experts say you should not fear bread.

Depending on the cold cuts and cooking, bread can be a useful source of fiber and fits well into a healthy diet.

However, the type of bread you choose makes a difference. White bread is highly processed, removing textures as well as nutrients.

In contrast, whole grain and whole grain breads retain more fiber from the plants they are made from, as well as vitamins and minerals.

In addition, breads made using fermentation, such as sourdough, can provide even more benefits as the process breaks down nutrients to make them easier to digest.

For a double dose of fiber, choose seed breads that contain flax and other healthy seeds in the mix.

Root vegetables like sweet potatoes and yams

Sweet potatoes sitting on top of the jute.

Starchy vegetables can also be a high-fiber staple in a Blue Zone diet.Westend61 / Getty Images

Not all of your vegetables need to be green on a Blue Zones diet. Experts often recommend "eating the rainbow" to get a variety of micronutrients. Brightly colored orange and yellow root vegetables can help round off your fiber needs.

Sweet potatoes, for example, are a daily staple in Okinawa - the unique purple-white variety in Japan is even sweeter than its orange cousin and contains about 4.6 grams of fiber per serving. veggie.

  • kohlrabi: 8 grams of fiber per cup

  • Pastinak: 7 grams of fiber per cup

  • Carrots: 5 grams of fiber per cup

  • majroer: 3 grams of fiber per head

  • Rutabaga: 3 grams of fiber per head

Fruits

Man holding blueberries in his hands and smelling them.

Do not forget to include fruit in your diet as a good source of fiber.birch pixels / Getty Images

As Blue Zones vary geographically, the diet includes a wide variety of foods found around the world, including tropical and seasonal fruits.

In Italy and Greece, popular options include stone fruits such as dates, figs and apricots. Costa Ricans prefer papaya, bananas and pineapple.

All of the above can be a good source of fiber as well as nutrients like vitamin C, potassium and folate.

Fruits that have a wide availability as well as lots of fiber include:

  • Raspberry: 8 grams per cup

  • Citrus4 grams per cup of oranges

  • Apples: about 4 grams per medium-sized fruit

  • Blueberry: 5 grams per cup

  • Strawberry: 3 grams per cup

Herbs and spices

assortment of herbs spices

Tasty spices add not only flavor to the food but also micronutrients.FotografiaBasica / Getty Images

The rich culinary traditions of the Blue Zone regions also include a wealth of flavors with spices and herbs. In combination, spices can add a boost of fiber as well as flavor.

Aromatic plants such as oregano, rosemary, thyme and fennel are common in many Blue Zones recipes. Fresh, leafy herbs like coriander, sage and parsley are also delicious ways to sneak a little extra fiber into a meal.

While herbs and spices are generally used in small amounts that do not have a wealth of fiber or vitamins alone, they can help improve the overall nutritional profile of your diet, experts say.

Read the original article on Insider

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