A large U.S. trial assessing bowel screening was analyzed by researchers in Northern Ireland’s Centre for Public Health. The researchers looked at the dietary fiber intake of those participants who filled out a dietary questionnaire.
The U.S trial participants were screened at the beginning of the trial and again 3-5 years later. The data showed that those patients whose diet was rich in fiber, from fruits and cereals, were less likely to develop the most common type of adenomas and colon cancers. Adenomas are precancerous polyps that can develop into cancer if not removed.
The protective nature of the fiber did not seem to be extended to those who had adenomas discovered in the initial screening. Once an adenoma was removed, the risk of it redeveloping was the same in both the high fiber diet group and the low fiber diet group.
The researchers are calling for more intensive studies to be performed and are also using the results to continue encouraging the daily fiber recommendations of 25-35 grams per day. One of the future research topics they would like to see is what are the most effective ways for people to be able to eat as much fiber as currently recommended. So what are some ways for you to reach 25-35 grams per day?
- Switch to whole grains - make sure to buy 100% whole wheat bread and pasta, and cook brown rice instead of white.
- Eat beans a few times each week - they are loaded with healthy plant protein
- Have several servings of fruit each day - add an apple, pear or a cup of strawberries to your breakfast. Enjoy another serving as a snack and end your day with a fruit as dessert.
- Ground flax seed - add a tablespoon to your smoothie or soup. This is an easy way to sneak in 3 more grams of fiber.
- Vegetables, Vegetables, Vegetables - all day, every day!