In the News: High-Fiber Diets Can Reduce Risk of Colon Polyps

Reader Contribution by Sarah Mccabe
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Your mother always told you to eat your fruits and vegetables, but even she probably had no idea how much these foods could do for your body. Besides just being fantastic for your general health, a recent study has found that people who regularly eat beans, brown rice, green vegetables and dried fruits have a lower risk of colon polyps, a precursor for colon cancer, according to an article by HealthDay News.

California researchers studied the eating habits of 2,818 people over a period of 25 years. They discovered that people who ate legumes three times a week were 33 percent less likely to get colon polyps, and people who ate brown rice just once a week were 40 percent less likely to get the disease. Frequently eating dried fruits and vegetables was associated with a 24 to 26 percent reduced risk, as well. 

High fiber foods like nuts and dried fruit make a great pick-me-up snack in the afternoon.
Photo by Monica Arellano-Ongpin/Courtesy

These foods are all incredibly high in fiber, which does more than just help prevent colon cancer. A high-fiber diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease, and gallstones and kidney stones. It can also help to relieve constipation. Not only that, but because fiber keeps you feeling fuller longer, you’ll be satisfied with fewer calories, meaning that it can actually help you lose weight.

Add a little more fiber to your diet with this delicious, nutrient-packed dish:

Adzuki Beans with Roasted Vegetables and Brown Rice

• 1/2 cup dried adzuki beans
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
• 1 carrot, halved and chopped roughly
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled
• 1 acorn squash, halved and sliced into 3/4 inch wedges
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 cup brown rice
• 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
• 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
• Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place dried beans in a shallow dish. Cover with water about 1 to 2 inches above the beans. Let sit overnight.

2. Place beans and the bay leaf in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until beans are tender. Remove bay leaf and set aside.

3. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place onion, carrot, garlic and squash in a shallow dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until tender. Remove the squash from the peel and cut into medium chunks. Add the onion, carrot, garlic and squash mixture to the beans.

4. Bring vegetable stock to a boil in a medium pot. Add the rice and simmer for 35 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Combine the rice, beans and vegetables. Add the cilantro and salt and pepper, for taste. Serve immediately.

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