How soluble fiber prevents the brain from aging

How soluble fiber prevents the brain from aging

Cognitive decline associated with aging can be accelerated or decelerated by many lifestyle factors. Research focused on longevity and the prevention of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia have identified risks for brain health including:

  • Hypertension
  • Poor cardiovascular health
  • Blood sugar spikes
  • Inflammation
  • Poor nutrition and micronutrient deficiency
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Infections
  • Genetic factors
  • Microbiome imbalances
  • Poor barrier function (gut barrier and blood-brain barrier)

As we continue to learn more about genetic and lifestyle links to cognitive decline, one this is becoming increasingly clear in the research – you can proactively protect your brain by optimizing diet, sleep, exercise and detox pathways.

So, where does soluble fiber fit in?

Soluble fiber does not just address one of the risk factors associated with cognitive decline, it is a true superfood for the brain due to its functionality to:

  • Drop blood pressure
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Prevent blood sugar spikes
  • Improve absorption of micronutrients
  • Clear estrogen and help to balance hormones
  • Improve the health of the microbiome
  • Repair the gut barrier function

And, if that is not enough, a 2018 study looked at another critical aspect to brain health – butyrate production.

What is butyrate?

Butyrate is a short chain fatty acid (SCFA) produced when certain microbes in the colon metabolize soluble fiber. This little fatty acid is a powerhouse for brain cells serving as one of their preferred fuel sources. Consuming plenty of soluble fiber feeds your microbes leading to more butyrate and more efficient brain function. The health of our cells (including brain cells) is all about how well they can produce energy so any tool that boosts cellular energy means healthier cells and a brain that functions better, longer.

Aim for a diet that is high in beans, lentils, flax, chia, and resistant starches like green banana. 

Even with a plant-forward diet, it’s extremely challenging to get the recommended 20g soluble fiber per day. Adding Florasophy to your routine is a simple way to boost your fiber intake and reap the protective effects of fiber for your brain.

Just 3 teaspoons a day can make a world of difference in your health.

About Megan Barnett, MS, CNS

Megan Barnett, MSMegan Barnett is a functional medicine practitioner in Portland, Oregon. In her clinical practice, she helps patients identify the root cause of their health problems, then designs individualized and evidence-based approaches to alleviate symptoms and help their bodies heal. She has a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Kansas State University and a Master of Science in Nutrition and Functional Medicine from University of Western States.