Data collected from the National Institutes of Health AARP Diet and Health Study shows a strong association between high dietary fiber intake and a lowered risk of death from cardiovascular, respiratory and infectious diseases.
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute analyzed the health data of more than 388,000 study participants and found that those who consumed the most fiber had a 22 percent lower risk of death than individuals who got the least amount.
Additionally, men with high fiber intake cut their chances of cardiovascular, respiratory and infectious illnesses by 24 percent to 56 percent, and women reduced risks of those diseases by 34 percent to 59 percent.
Men on the higher end of the fiber intake spectrum got 29.4 grams a day, while women on the high end consumed 25.8 grams daily. Males on the lower end ate 12.6 grams of fiber per day and women in that category had a daily intake of 10.8 grams per day.
The National Institutes of Health recommends getting fiber from oatmeal and other whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds.
The agency also reports that healthy fiber derived from whole grains may also lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and assist in weight loss.