NutritionFacts.org

fiber

The under-consumption of unrefined plant foods in our diet has resulted in a low fiber intake. Sadly, one-third of preschoolers have been found to be constipated. Nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day at a minimum are recommended. Fiber causes an increase in stool size, which has been associated with a decreased cancer risk as well as lower risk of appendicitis, constipation, and diverticulitis (see also here, here). A plant-based diet high in fiber creates larger stools that flush excess estrogen and cholesterol out of the system (see also here, here). This may help explain why high fiber intake is associated with reduced breast cancer risk. The target minimum fecal output is about half a pound a day. The amount of time it takes food to travel through the body ideally should be 24-36 hours (see also here). And at the same fiber intake, antioxidant rich foods reduce inflammation better than less nutrient-dense foods.

Foods rich in fiber include: dates (date sugar has fiber since it’s just powdered dates), chia seeds, flax seeds, veggie chicken, flaked coconut, dark green leafy vegetables, and beans.

Topic summary contributed by Denise
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Watch videos about fiber

  • Flaxseeds & Breast Cancer Prevention
    Flaxseeds & Breast Cancer Prevention
    Young women at high risk for breast cancer given just a teaspoon of ground flaxseeds a day showed fewer precancerous changes.
  • Fiber vs. Breast Cancer
    Fiber vs. Breast Cancer
    Inadequate fiber intake appears to be a risk factor for breast cancer, which can explain why women eating plant-based diets may be at lower risk.
  • Flaxseed vs. Prostate Cancer
    Flaxseed vs. Prostate Cancer
    What happens when men with prostate cancer and prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) are placed on a relatively low-fat diet supplemented with ground flaxseeds?
  • Do Fruit & Nut Bars Cause Weight Gain?
    Do Fruit & Nut Bars Cause Weight Gain?
    Despite the caloric density of both nuts and dried fruit, they do not appear to lead to the expected weight gain.
  • Prunes vs. Metamucil vs. Vegan Diet
    Prunes vs. Metamucil vs. Vegan Diet
    The average number of bowel movements a week is compared between those eating prunes, those taking a fiber supplement, and those eating a strictly plant-based diet.
  • Dried Apples, Dates, Figs or Prunes for Cholesterol?
    Dried Apples, Dates, Figs or Prunes for Cholesterol?
    A comparison of the cholesterol-lowering potential of four dried fruit—apples, dates, figs, and plums.
  • Treating Parkinson’s Disease With Diet
    Treating Parkinson’s Disease With Diet
    Plant-based diets in general and certain plant foods in particular may be used to successfully treat Parkinson's disease in part by boosting L-DOPA levels.
  • Plant-Based Diets: Oral Health
    Plant-Based Diets: Oral Health
    Plant-based diets may help protect against oral cancer and periodontal (gum) disease, a leading cause of tooth loss.
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