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.
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