Dietary Fiber Intake and Colorectal Cancer Risk
We all know by now that our diet plays a huge role in our health on a daily basis. This article looks at fiber intake and its effect on colorectal cancer risk. By better understanding how fiber works in the system, we can further appreciate how it can be a part of our healthy arsenal against colorectal cancer.
What Exactly is Fiber?
Fiber is a substance in plants and dietary fiber comes from the parts of plants not digested by enzymes in your intestinal tract. Fiber is often referred to as soluble or insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel when mixed with liquid, while insoluble fiber passes through intestines mostly intact.
First and foremost, fiber helps you feel full without consuming a lot of unwanted calories. High fiber foods tend to be low in fat, too, helping to keep your weight in check. While admittedly not the most pleasant subject, but a true benefit for your health, fiber helps bulk up stools and keeps them soft, which prevents constipation. People with diabetes can be aided by fiber as it helps to regulate or slow glucose absorption. Fiber aids in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and helps food to be eliminated from the intestines faster through the bowel. This is important because this way the bowel wall spends less time exposed to potential carcinogens.
The Role of Fiber in Colorectal Cancer Risk
Heart disease and colon cancer are more rare among those who eat fiber regularly. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the world. It usually begins with a polyp, a benign growth that expands and in some people can become cancerous. It has a high cure rate if polyps are removed when discovered or surgery is performed in early stages. While it can be hereditary, numerous studies have been conducted about how dietary choices, especially fiber, can, if at all, lower ones risk for developing colorectal cancer. While they jury is still out, as the studies revealed varying results, they did show that natural fiber, from foods such as fruits and vegetables, does the best job at keeping your colon in tip top shape.
Protect Your Colon with these Fiber Rich Foods
Becoming a label reader at your grocery store is certainly a good way to get educated about which items contain fiber, but getting it thorough natural, unprocessed foods is the always the best way.
Here Is A List Of Naturally High Fiber Foods
- Veggies including broccoli, spinach and green peas
- Dried peas and beans including lima beans, black eyed peas and chick peas
- Nuts and seeds including almonds, soy nuts and whole flaxseed
- Dried fruits including apricots, dates and prunes
- Berries including blackberries, blueberries and strawberries
- Oranges, apples and avocados
- Grains including whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and popcorn
Adding fiber rich foods will make a difference in your energy level and help you feel full throughout the day, while also protecting your colon and offering an abundance of healthy vitamins and nutrients. Again, the best and most productive way for the body to process and utilize vitamins and nutrients is through natural unprocessed foods. But there are substantial benefits with taking pill supplements, too, as research from the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology (CJPP) reported a diet enhanced with vitamin and mineral supplements can lower risk, up to 84%, of developing precancerous colon cancer lesions.