mirror: Eating garlic could be key to boosting gut health and living a long life, research suggests.
The ingredient popular in bread, curries and soups contains high amounts of natural fibres that boost our “good” bacteria.
These crowd out harmful gut bacteria which are known to contribute to everything from cancer and dementia to obesity and mental illness.
Microorganisms in the body such as bacteria make up ten times more cells and 100 times more DNA than the host body itself.
It is natural therefore that they are vital to how we regulate everything from metabolism to our immune system.
When foods were analysed garlic was only bettered by chicory for its percentage of healthy fibre, called oligosaccharides. Leek, onion, artichoke, asparagus, wheat, oats and bananas also contained high amounts.
The findings were discussed at a research event on aging well hosted by Yakult in Tokyo, Japan.
The firm is researching the impact on European populations of probiotic yoghurt drinks containing good bacteria.
Author Prof Eric Claassen, of Amsterdam University, told how a high vegetable and low sugar diet was best for a healthy gut bacteria.
“We know in modern lifestyles it can be difficult to maintain a low sugar-high veg diet though,” Prof Claassen explained. “It is just plane difficult to avoid sugar.”
Britain is not the only country facing the problem of how to care for its growing elderly population.
Japan is an example of how better diets can lead to longer lives but a falling birth rate has left it with the oldest population of any major economy.
Annual health MOTs have been rolled out for all over-40s to help the population live well for longer. They found that 50% of middle aged people are at risk of developing metabolic disorders such as diabetes.
Adult cooking and nutrition lessons are part of the world’s first national food re-education programme.
Prof Naomi Aiba, of the Kanagawa Institute of Technology, said: “Tax payments of four people of working age now pay for one elderly person. In the next few years this will drop to two people of working age. You can’t prevent aging but there are things we can do to avoid getting sick.”
Source: Published by mirror