Eat Fiber for Colon Health and Cancer Prevention

Submitted by Miranda Shearin, RD, CDE on June 29, 2020

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Eat for your health.

Other than scheduling a colonoscopy, one of of the best ways to potentially prevent colon cancer is to eat for your health. Fiber-rich foods, as well as fruits and vegetables, are essential to a healthy diet.

Consume at Least 25-35 Grams of Fiber Daily.

According to The Mayo Clinic, increased intake of fiber-filled foods has actually been shown to reduce the risk of many types of cancer and may even help you live longer. Fiber has also been shown to benefit colon cancer survivors, according to a 2018 article in The Journal of the American Medical Association. 

It's recommended to consume at least 25-35 grams of fiber daily. Other than carefully reading food labels, here are a few easy ways to add more fiber to your diet:

  • Choose a breakfast cereal with three or more grams of fiber per serving
  • Choose bread with two or more grams fiber per slice
  • Plan to eat high-fiber foods at every meal
  • Include vegetables in all meals and eat them first
  • Snack on fresh fruit, raw veggies, low-fat popcorn and whole-grain crackers
  • Choose whole grains over refined grains
  • Eat whole fruits and vegetables instead of drinking juice
  • Add avocado to your sandwich or salad
  • Snack on nuts and seeds or add them to recipes
  • Bake with high-fiber flours
  • Add berries to your yogurt or cereal
  • Include plenty of beans, peas and lentils in your diet
  • Leave the peel or skin on apples, cucumbers and potatoes

A healthy diet that’s full of fiber has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease and maintain healthy cholesterol levels and weight. It can also normalize bowel movement, which can help prevent diverticulitis, hemorrhoids and other colon and rectal diseases. Be sure to introduce fiber into your diet slowly as well as drink plenty of water when doing so.

Miranda Shearin, RDN, CDE is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator. She has 20 years’ experience in the nutrition field and is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in human nutrition, foods and exercise. She completed her Dietetic Internship Program with the Virginia Department of Health and Miranda has an extensive background in clinical dietetics that includes oncology, dialysis, nutrition support (tube-feedings) and wound healing. She was a Spirit of Women Healthcare Hero Nominee in 2013 and was awarded the Clinical Excellence Award at Stafford Hospital Radiation Oncology in 2012. Miranda is a native of Chesapeake, Va. and enjoys motivating people to achieve their personal goals and helping her community achieve better health through nutrition.