It’s a number so huge it’s almost impossible to imagine.
Even the world’s most populated city, Shanghai, tops out at “just” 24.1 million.
Heck, the population of the ENTIRE PLANET is “only” 7.7 billion.
Yet it’s estimated 100 trillion live creatures call your gut home at this very moment.
And hardly a week goes by when we don’t learn yet another role these bacteria play in our health and wellbeing.
Today it’s your lungs I want to focus on.
Because it turns out what you eat could affect your risk of developing lung problems. And that includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma.
Collectively they’re called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD.
These devastating lung diseases leave 251 million folks worldwide breathless and gasping for air. That’s more than 10 Shanghai’s put together.
COPD makes life miserable for many folks. For some, however, it can turn DEADLY.
But picture this. You tuck into a delicious bowl of chili, brimming with beans.
And you walk away from the table not ONLY with a full belly. But also with an extra layer of protection for your lungs.
It may seem like a crackpot idea. But new research reveals THAT daydream may, in fact, be reality.
Study reveals fermentable fiber protects lungs
You’ve probably heard of soluble and insoluble fiber before.
But another way experts classify fiber is by whether or not it’s fermentable or non-fermentable.
Fermentable fibers are basically bacteria chow. The kind of food your friendly gut bugs digest and use for fuel.
They’re critical for boosting the number of friendly bacteria in your belly and keeping your microbiome balanced.
So what does fermentable fiber have to do with your LUNGS?
Well, it turns out a lot. Because those good bacteria they’re fueling, in turn, pump out beneficial substances that are vital for your health.
Known as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), they’re natural anti-inflammatories. And they can be a powerful tool in the fight against lung disease.
Fight off lung inflammation and damage
Ever see a mouse smoke a cigarette? Me neither.
But that’s precisely what researchers at the University of Technology Sydney needed in order to study COPD. So they exposed a mischief of mice to cigarette smoke, a known cause of lung diseases.
At the same time, they slipped a little extra something into the mouse chow of some of the critters… fermentable fiber.
Right away they could see those clouds of smoke reduced the number of SCFAs the mice were making. And this triggered damaging inflammation.
But, remarkably, the mice which got the extra fiber didn’t suffer from nearly the same level of lung inflammation or damage
In other words, the fiber created an extra layer of protection, slashing their risk of ever developing COPD.
The researchers believe fermentable fiber could have the very same benefits for us. And taking advantage of this fiber-linked benefit couldn’t be easier.
Just add more fermentable fiber to your diet.
Those beans I mentioned earlier are one of the best sources you can find. Legumes are also packed with them. And oats, barley, yams, leeks, onions, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, and bananas are all good sources, as well.