Health Mastery Q & A: Can You Say Fiber…?

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Can you tell me what will clean out my colon? I mean something that will rip all the old waste out of my system. How can I get my body to have regular movements?

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Q: Can you tell me what will clean out my colon? I mean something that will rip all the old waste out of my system. How can I get my body to have regular movements?

Dr. Dave: If your goal is to have regular bowel movements, then doing it naturally with a fiber-rich diet and hydration is the way to go.

There are two main kinds of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble. Most of it is not digested but they all help reduce the risk of colon cancer, diabetes, heart disease, strokes and other conditions like constipation, hemorrhoids, chronic diarrhea, and fecal incontinence.

Soluble fiber: fruits, vegetables, oats and oat products, barley, and legumes (peas and beans)

Insoluble fiber: wheat, wheat bran, rye, and other grains.

Women should eat about 25 grams and men 30 grams of fiber daily.

Here are some foods and their dietary fiber amounts in grams. You can copy and paste this to refer to on a regular basis.

Fruit

Apple (with skin) 3.5/1 medium-sized apple

Apricot (fresh) 1.8/3 apricots

Banana 2.5/1 banana

Cantaloupe 2.7/half edible portion

Dates 13.5/1 cup (chopped)

Grapefruit 1.6/half edible portion

Grapes 2.6/10 grapes

Oranges 2.6/1 orange

Peach (with skin) 2.1/1 peach

Pear (with skin) 4.6/1 pear

Pineapple 2.2/1 cup (diced)

Prunes 11.9/11 dried prunes

Raisins 2.2/packet

Strawberries 3.0/1 cup

Vegetables

Asparagus 1.5/7 spears

Beans, string, green 3.4/1 cup

Broccoli 5.0/1 stalk

Brussels sprouts 4.6/7-8 sprouts

Cabbage 2.9/1 cup (cooked)

Carrots 4.6/1 cup

Cauliflower 2.1/1 cup

Peas 7.2/1 cup (cooked)

Potato (with skin)2.3/1 boiled

Spinach 4.1/1 cup (raw)

Squash, summer 3.4/1 cup (cooked, diced)

Sweet potatoes 2.7/1 baked

Zucchini 4.2/1 cup (cooked, diced)

Peppers, green 1.0/1 pod

Tomato 1.8/1 tomato

Spinach 8.0/1 cup (chopped)

Legumes

Baked beans 18.6/1 cup

Dried peas 4.7/half cup (cooked)

Kidney beans 7.4/half cup (cooked)

Pasta and rice cooked

Macaroni 1.0/1 cup (cooked)

Rice, brown 2.4/1 cup (cooked)

Rice, polished 0.6/1 cup (cooked)

Spaghetti (regular) 1.0/1 cup (cooked)

Flours and grains

Bran, oat 8.3/oz

Bran, wheat 12.4/oz

Rolled oats 13.7/1 cup (cooked)

Nuts

Almonds 3.6/half cup (slivered)

Peanuts 11.7/1 cup

Be careful to account for other dietary goals (weight loss, diabetes control, high blood pressure control, kidney problems, allergies, etc) when picking which foods to eat. Keep your calorie goals intact.

I am personally not a fan of colon cleansers for general health purposes. The proper diet, which includes enough dietary fiber to bulk up the stool and clear the colon, is a natural way to accomplish this without the dangers of electrolyte imbalance and dehydration that can occur with colonics.

Here’s to Mastering Your Health.

Copyright 2010 Chicago Defender

Dave Montgomery, MD, PhD is a Cardiologist at Northwestern University and a sought after Speaker and Health Coach. http://davemontgomerymd.com

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