Dietary fiber is one of the building blocks for a healthy diet. But apparently they have other good properties that have not yet been the focus of research. As a recent study shows, fiber is also good for the lungs.
As part of a study, researchers from the Hunter Medical Research Institute in Newcastle, Australia asked 200 test subjects about their eating habits. The group consisted of 135 asthmatics and 65 healthy people. When evaluating the questionnaires, the scientists discovered a connection between the amount of dietary fiber consumed and the functionality of the lungs. Dietary fiber is a nutrient that occurs exclusively in plant-based food, including fruits and vegetables, legumes and nuts.
Nutrients good for lung function
As the researchers found, the healthy volunteers ate food that was significantly higher in fiber than the asthmatics. And among the asthmatics, too, it became clear that in those patients who had poor lung function, only a very small amount of fiber was on the menu. The more of the substances in the food, the better the function of the lungs. According to Bronwyn Berthon’s research team, a possible explanation for this could be in the digestive processes. Because when the dietary fiber is broken down, fatty acids are formed that stimulate the growth of lactic acid bacteria. These in turn inhibit the proliferation of putrefactive bacteria in the intestine and ensure that the intestinal flora remains healthy. A healthy intestinal flora is crucial for a good immune defense, which also plays an important role in asthma. If the immune defense is weakened, the mucus in the lungs that is present in asthmatics cannot be evacuated. Accordingly, a high-fiber diet could help alleviate the disease.
Dietary fiber also has other qualities
But not only asthmatics can benefit from a high-fiber diet. In numerous studies, scientists discovered other positive aspects of nutrients. They are said to be able to improve depression and counteract prostate cancer or breast cancer.