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A new study found that a fiber-rich diet may reduce the chance of dying from colon cancer.For every five grams of fiber you consume, it reduces the chance of dying from non-metastatic colon cancer by almost 25 percent.Moreover, a higher intake of fiber, especially from cereals and whole grains, can reduce the overall chances in death, not just due to colon cancer.
"What you eat after you've been diagnosed may make a difference.There is a possibility that increasing your intake of fiber may actually lower the rate of dying from colon cancer and maybe even other causes," said Dr.Andrew Chan, an associate professor of the Department of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School.
In the study, the researchers collected data from 1,575 participants who took part in the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professional Follow-up Study.These participants were treated for colon or rectal cancer that did not spread beyond the colon area of the lower digestive system.The total fiber consumption of the participants who were diagnosed with cancer after six months to four years was monitored by the researchers.After the eight-year period, about 773 participants died including 174 from colorectal cancer.Because of the limited conclusion from the study, the findings only indicated the association of fiber in reducing the death rate from colon cancer.
Benefits of Fiber to the Body
Dietary fiber can be found in various food sources, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.Fiber is the best known natural method to fight and prevent constipation.But fiber can provide other benefits to our bodies that help prevent several illnesses including cancer.Fiber has two types -- soluble fiber that dissolves in water and insoluble fiber that does not dissolve in water.
1.It normalizes your bowel movements – Fiber softens your stool and increases its size and weight.If your stool is watery, fiber helps solidify it because of its ability to absorb water.
2.It helps maintain the proper health of the colon – High fiber in your diet reduces the chance of developing hemorrhoids and diverticular disease, small pouches in the colon.
3.It maintains cholesterol levels – Beans, oats, flaxseed, and oat bran have soluble fiber that helps lower blood cholesterol levels.It also helps control high blood pressure and inflammation that are beneficial to your heart.
4.It controls blood sugar levels – If you have diabetes, increasing fiber in your diet will help control your glucose or blood sugar.Fiber, particularly soluble fiber, can absorb sugar in your blood to maintain glucose levels.
5.It can help you achieve healthy weight – If you are conscious about your weight, fiber-rich food can help you achieve a healthy weight.High-fiber foods can fill up your stomach faster, making you eat less compared with other types of food.Additionally, fiber has a fewer amount of calories than other food types.As an effect, fiber reduces obesity and the risk of developing heart disease.Photo By Evan Lorne via Shutterstock
Increasing Fiber in Your Diet
Increasing fiber in your diet is simple like adding some vegetables to your stir-fry or using a whole wheat bun on your hamburger.However, the effects of fiber will only be minimal unless you replace the fatty food you include in your diet with fiber.You can get soluble fiber from oats, oat bran, oatmeal, apples, citrus fruits, strawberries, dried beans, barley, rye flour, potatoes, raw cabbage, and pasta.Insoluble fiber, meanwhile, can be obtained from wheat bran, whole wheat products, cereals made from bran or shredded wheat, crunchy vegetables, barley, grains, whole wheat pasta, and rye flour.
- Select products that are minimally processed, such as whole wheat bread instead of white bread, and brown rice instead of white rice.
- If you can, do not remove the peels and skins of fruits and vegetables.The peels and skins are usually the part of fruits and vegetables rich in fiber.Simply wash them thoroughly before eating.
- Do include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes on each meal you prepare every day.
- For snacks, you can eat baby carrots, apples, strawberries, and oranges to maintain your fiber intake.
- Put toppings on your breakfast cereals like dried or fresh fruits.
- Adds some grated carrots to your spaghetti sauce.
- In order to avoid intestinal discomfort caused by high fiber intake, increase your fiber consumption at a gradual rate and drink plenty of water.
Be reminded that too much fiber may cause adverse effects, such as bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, stomach ache, and very low blood sugar.The recommended daily fiber intake for women is 25 grams per day while it is 38 grams per day in men.
Facts About Colorectal Cancer
- Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the world.
- About 95 percent of adenocarcinomas are colorectal cancers.
- About 54 percent of colorectal cancer causes happen in developed countries.
- The highest incidence of colorectal cancer was in Europe and Oceania while the lowest was in Asia and Africa.