Why Are Some Older People Ridiculously Healthy? (The Answer Will Surprise You)
What’s the secret to being healthy in your old age? Well, researchers have found that “ridiculously healthy” seniors have something in common with 30-year-olds that may account for their excellent health and absence of disease…
Healthy Aging is Linked to a Healthy Gut
In the new study published in the journal mSphere, scientists at Lawson Health Research Institute, Western University and Tianyi Health Science Institute in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, China found an association between healthy aging and a healthy gut. They examined the gut bacterial composition (microbiota) of 1,000 people between the age of 3 and 100 who had no known health issues, as well as no family history of disease.
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Analysis of the findings showed the gut microbiota of healthy elderly people resembled that of people decades younger. In fact, it differed little from the age of 30 to over 100.
“The main conclusion is that if you are ridiculously healthy and 90 years old, your gut microbiota is not that different from a healthy 30 year old in the same population,” said Greg Gloor, PhD, the principal investigator on the study and also a professor at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and Scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute.
According to the authors, the diversity of the gut bacterial strains was the aspect that was similar among the healthy individuals.
“This demonstrates that maintaining diversity of your gut as you age is a biomarker of healthy aging, just like low-cholesterol is a biomarker of a healthy circulatory system,” Gloor said.
Eat Cruciferous Vegetables for a Healthy Gut
Released at the same time as the above research, another study found that eating broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables promote gut health. Earlier investigations have discovered broccoli reduces gut inflammation and reduces the risk of colon cancer. The new study involving mice, published in the Journal of Functional Foods, endeavored to ascertain the exact mechanism by which broccoli produces the benefits. It found, among other positive effects, that broccoli reduced the number of Erysipelotrichaceae bacterium, a microbe associated with inflammatory disorders of the gut, including colon cancer.
Cruciferous vegetables, which include Brussels sprouts and cabbage in addition to broccoli, contain indole glucosinolates, which the body breaks down into various compounds, including indolocarbazole (ICZ). This compound is important because it plays role in strengthening the immune system and in balancing the gut microbiota.
The amount of broccoli used in the study to produce the positive effects would equate to 3.5 cups per day. However, Brussels sprouts contain three times the amount of the beneficial compound, so a person would only need to eat around 1 cup per day to receive the advantages, said researcher Gary Perdew, the John T. and Paige S. Smith Professor in Agricultural Sciences at Penn State University.
Eat Fibrous and Fermented Food for a Healthy Gut
Harvard Medical School offers several dietary recommendations for a healthy gut. Dr. Elizabeth Hohmann said consuming high-fiber complex carbohydrates — namely, fruit, vegetables and whole grains, will encourage diversity in the gut microbiota. Harvard also advocates eating naturally fermented foods containing probiotics, such as sauerkraut, kefir, pickles and certain types of yogurt. When buying sauerkraut, look for the non-pasteurized variety because the pasteurized kind has no probiotics.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.