Fiber: The Secret Weapon in the Cancer Fight
So many people never think about fiber. But when cancer is something that you are dealing with, fiber becomes essential. Here’s why... Fiber is something that is essential for all aspects of health. It not only helps with bowel regularity, but maintains healthy cholesterol levels in the blood, removes toxins and heavy metals and helps to maintain healthy hormonal levels. But the most important thing about fiber is that if has been shown to reduce breast cancer risk and to reduce the severity of many other types of cancers.
Most large-scale studies on women turn up breast cancer risk factors, such as genetics, smoking, estrogen levels and low thyroid. But chronic constipation is never mentioned, yet studies indicate that women with chronic constipation have a breast cancer risk up to four times that of women who get adequate dietary fiber and have excellent bowel regularity. Fiber moves water through the intestines and in doing so is able to bind toxins and reduce the accumulation of fecal material in the folds and crevices of the intestinal tract. The longer that material accumulates in the digestive tract without evacuation, the harder and less mobile it becomes. This can be even more destructive depending on the diet of the individual.
By adding fiber, it is possible to soften the stool and dissolve many environmental and metabolic toxins including heavy metals. This is because fiber binds up to 10 times its weight in water preventing the reabsorption of materials that are irritating to the colon and potentially damaging to the body. In fact researchers have found that byproducts of hormonal metabolism, as well as some widely used pesticides that structurally resemble hormones, increase breast cancer risk. It makes sense that anything that can bind to them and help their elimination will reduce the risk of cancer and other disabling diseases.
Most modern diets provide less than 50% of the dietary fiber that is needed on a daily basis. The foods that we have become accustomed to eating contain less cereals, grains and vegetables than at any time in history. In fact only a small percentage of urban people get any grains, fruits or vegetables each day, and the poorer the person, the more empty their calories.
One way to offset this is to add fiber into your diet. There are many dietary fibers available that you can use to supplement grains, vegetables and fruits in your diet. These supplemental forms will not take the place of these essential foods, but they will help give the body the benefits of lots of fiber. Natural fiber is the best which means it will not dissolve in water, will not have a delicious taste and will not be swallowed easily. In fact, it requires a bit of work, just as eating grains, vegetables and fruits for many people. Psyllium is a good choice, but it can be very bloating, particularly to women. Fruit fibers such as apple are great and vegetable fibers such as beet along with grains such as oat can really help the body get a boost. The average adult needs at lest 25 grams of fiber daily. That’s why everyone should start the day with a high-fiber breakfast.
There are also a few things that go along with fiber to help your body process the fiber you take in. Many people reduce their fiber intake because they get constipated or find bowel movements more than once a day inconvenient. If you combine exercise and water intake with added fiber, the results will be great.
Exercise increases the metabolic rate which speeds hormone breakdown, and the removal and elimination of byproducts. Fiber binds the byproducts and facilitates their removal. This can help to reduce excess estrogen levels, an important consideration in breast cancer cases. Exercise also can reduce body fat ratios, and some experts suggest that fat causes an imbalance of hormone levels, and provides reserve sites for cancer initiators and metabolic wastes.
Water is the other partner of fiber. Without water, fiber cannot do its job and in fact will constipate you. This can lead many people to solve constipation problems with laxatives which will cause elimination, but will also weaken your body’s natural digestive action over time, creating dependence and staining of your intestinal lining. Laxatives also can dehydrate you by drawing all your water reserves into the intestines and away from critical body functions like immunity. Drinking at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces per day will ensure that fiber gives you the optimal result... body health.
So don’t forget to add the fiber. Your life may depend on it.