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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Research, Round 3 (ding!)

Most patients who develop colon cancer, diverticulosis, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, fistula and fissure have had a lifelong history of difficulty with their bowels. In most instances, they suffer from chronic constipation. Since their problems usually stem from childhood and represent lifelong habits, and since they have no standards for comparison, most patients assume that their function is normal.

The usual cause of chronic constipation is a lack of adequate dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is generally obtained from plant foods, and consists of that portion of the plant which is not digested by man. While the sugars, starches and vitamins are broken down into nutrients and are absorbed by our intestines, the cell walls are not digested and go on to form an important component of the stool, the bulk or roughage.
All of these lovely books are available from Siouxland libraries.
Correcting the fiber inadequacy in one's diet will help one to achieve normal bowel movements and normal bowel habits. If damage has taken place, as in the development of diverticulitis, the adjustment of one's dietary fiber intake may prevent further deterioration of the damage over time. The decision as to how much fiber to use in the face of pre-existing conditions should be made in consultation with your doctor.
For the bowels to work properly, a lifelong daily intake of 25-30 grams, or about one ounce of dietary fiber daily, is required. After the digestion of all proteins, fats and carbohydrates, and the absorption of water and other nutrients in the small intestine, the colon (the last five feet of the intestine) receives approximately one pint of liquid stool together with the undigested fiber.
When people eat too little of fiber-containing foods, the stool becomes hard, dry and small. Whereas the soft, bulky stool can move easily along the passage of the colon, the hard, dry stool sticks to the dry wall of the colon and requires that the colon develop high-pressure waves to be moved. Years pass, and the colon is loses capability of generating such high pressure waves. The colon now requires assistance to push along the hard, dry stool, and the abdominal muscles begin to contribute the necessary force. 
The straining produces pressure on all of the abdominal wall, forcing the development of hernias, varicose veins (due to pressure on the long veins of the legs), hiatus hernia (upward pressure forcing the stomach into the chest), diverticulitis and diverticulosis (weakening and infection of the colon wall), hemorrhoids, anal fissures and fistulae. Colorectal cancers may also be more common in patients with habit constipation. This may be due to the concentrated exposure of carcinogens to the colonic surface, as a result of the hard dry stool and its slow movement or evacuation.
It is normal for one to have one or two soft, formed easily passed bowel movements a day, without any effort or straining. It is not normal to solve the problem by taking a laxative. If your bowels move daily, but with difficulty or straining, if your stool is dry or hard, or if you don't move your bowels daily, you need to adjust your diet for the right amount of fiber intake. When there is adequate fiber in the diet, the fiber (viewed as millions of tiny water attracting particles) mixes with the stool. Each particle soaks up available liquid, and enlarges into a minute gel bead. These particles give the stool size shape and moisture, making it easy for the colon to move along easily.
By Warren Enker, M.D., F.A.C.S. Medical Center
and Director, GastroIntestinal Institute for Cancer and Continuum Cancer Centers of New York.

Go Raw granola contains: Sprouted organic buckwheat groats, sprouted organic flax seeds, organic raisins, and organic date.

Bran is high in fiber and is the top source of both vitamin b6 and magnesium. Bran can most commonly be found in whole grain breads and is also a great addition to high fiber hot breakfast cereals like oats, rye, and buckwheat. Corn bran provides the most dietary fiber of any food with 85.6g (290% DV) per 100 gram serving, or 60g (240% DV) per cup, and 3.75g (15% DV) per tablespoon.
Psyllium husks contain soluble fiber, similar to the soluble fiber in oats. This fiber is not broken down as it passes through the digestive tract. It becomes gelatinous when mixed with water and provides bulk, which moves food through the intestines more easily. One hundred grams of psyllium provides 71 grams of soluble fiber. Rice and Wheat bran provide 25g (99% DV) of fiber per cup, 1.6g (6.2% DV) per tablespoon. Oat bran provides 14.5g (58% DV) per cup, 0.9g (3.6 DV) per tablespoon.
#2: Dried Herbs, Spices, and Peppers
Dried herbs and spices are packed with the vitamins and minerals you need. Start making it a habit to add more dry herbs, paprika, or chili powder (depending on preference) to all the dishes you eat. Ground cinnamon contains the most fiber providing 53.1g (212% DV) per 100 gram serving, or 4.2g (17% DV) per tablespoon. Cinnamon is followed by ground savory, dried oregano, rosemary, corriander, basil, marjoram, sage, fennel, caraway, paprika, thyme, chili powder, cloves, cayenne pepper, and finally, black pepper which provides 26.5g (106% DV) of fiber per 100 gram serving, 1.6g (6% DV) per tablespoon. Click to see complete nutrition facts.
#3: Cocoa Powder and Dark Chocolate
Chocolate is showing more and more health benefits and dark chocolate is coming into vogue. A good source of iron and potassium, cocao powder provides 33.2g (133% DV) of fiber per 100g serving, 28.6g (114% DV) per cup, 1.7g (7% DV) per tablespoon. Dark baking chocolate will provide 16.6g (66% DV) per 100g serving, or 4.8g (19% DV) per square. Milk chocolates do not provide enough fiber to be worth caloric count and should be avoided.
#4: Flax Seeds, Sesame Seeds, lentils and Sesame Butter (Tahini)  
Flax and Sesame seeds are a great source of heart healthy oils and dietary fiber. Flax seeds provide 27.3g (109% DV) of fiber per 100 gram serving, 2.7g (11% DV) per tablespoon. Toasted sesame seeds provide 14g (56% DV) per 100 gram serving, 3.9g (16% DV) per ounce. Sesame butter (tahini) provides 9.3g (37% DV) of fiber per 100 gram serving, 1.4g (6% DV) per tablespoon.
Lentils are also high in fiber. According to the Mayo Clinic, 1 cup of cooked lentils contains 15.6 g of fiber alone. Lentils can be served alone as a side dish or incorporated into soups and stews.
#5: Dry Roasted Soybeans (Edamame)
Dry roasted soybeans make a great snack. Look for low sodium varieties to keep your blood pressure low. Dry roasted soybeans provide 17.7g (71% DV) of fiber per 100 gram serving, or 30.4g (122% DV) per cup, and 1.9g (10% DV) per tablespoon. When boiled, edamame provides 5.2g (21% DV) of fiber per 100 gram serving, or 8.1g (32% DV) per cup.
#6: Sun-dried Tomatoes
Sun-dried tomatoes are a high iron and potassium food. They are great in sauce, on pizza, or even in salads. 100 grams of sun-dried tomatoes provides 12.3g (49% DV) of fiber per 100 gram serving, or 6.6g (26% DV) per cup, and 0.02g (1% DV) per piece.
#7: Nuts (Almonds, Pistachios, Pecans)
Nuts are great as a snack or as an addition to salads. Almonds provide the most fiber with 12.2g (49% DV) per 100 gram serving, that is 17.4g (70% DV) per cup of whole almonds, or 3.4g (14% DV) per ounce (~23 pieces). Almonds are followed by pistachios, hazelnuts, and finally pecans which provide 9.5g (38% DV) per cup, and 2.7g (11% DV) per ounce (~19 halves).
#8: Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are great as a snack or as an addition to salads, they are also a great source of vitamin E, iron, vitamin B1 (thiamin), B6, protein, magnesium, manganese, selenium, potassium, and copper. Sunflower seeds provide 10.6g (42% DV) of fiber per 100 gram serving, that is 14.3g (57% DV) per cup, and 3g (12% DV) per ounce.
#9: Beans (Navy, White, French, Kidney)
Boiled mature beans provide a great deal of fiber. Navy beans provide the most with 10.5g (42% DV) per 100 gram serving, or 19.1g (76% DV) per cup. Navy beans are followed by white beans, yellow beans, french (green) beans, and finally kidney beans which provide 38.7g (13% DV) of fiber per cup.
#10: Berries
Fruits are a good source of fiber and berries, in particular, are key to a balanced diet. According to Today's Dietitian, raspberries, blackberries and elderberries are the best sources of dietary fiber, with 8 to 10 g per 1 cup serving.

#11: Artichoke
Artichokes are another excellent source of fiber. 1 cup of cooked artichoke contains 10.3 g of fiber.

#12: Greens
Green leafy vegetables are a great source of iron, beta-carotene and fiber. According to Today's Dietitian, the best green vegetables for fiber include swiss chard, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens and beet greens. Just 1 cup of cooked green contains 4 to 5 g of fiber.


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