I feel really good about the fact that people seem to be coming around with regards to carbohydrates. The Atkin’s craze and other low or no carb diets had wrongfully shed an unflattering light on this macronutrient and painted it as some kind of dietary villain. The truth of the matter is that complex carbs are a necessary component of any diet, as they are the body’s main source of fuel and energy. This is crucial in the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle and integral to being able to perform at maximum capacities when exercising. And now, here’s another reason to love complex carbs. Apparently, they may also fight colon cancer.Read more about colon cancer
A study1 in the Current Opinion in Gastroenterology has found that resistant starches (like the complex carbs found in beans) can help you lose weight and improve your digestion. However, because they have also been shown to reduce inflammation, the intake of resistant starches has been associated with a lower risk of developing colon cancer.
Resistant starches are complex carbs that actually resist digestion in the small intestine. Instead, it passes into the large intestine where it ferments and promotes the growth of healthy bacteria. Because of this, resistant starches perform in a similar capacity as fiber, as they provide fewer calories than other complex carbs. Furthermore, because these starches hang around in your gut for a while, they can help keep you feeling full, and can also be a great tool when trying to lose weight.
While there’s no official recommendation about how much you should eat, ensuring you’re receiving the right amount of fiber per day (38g for adult males and 25g for adult females) should help make sure you’re receiving enough. And of course, there are a whole lot of foods out there loaded with fiber that are great for you that can also help fight off hunger. These foods include fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Beans are also an excellent source of fiber and contain those resistant starches that can fight off colon cancer.Read more about fiber
One last note. When increasing your fiber intake, it’s very important to do so gradually and ensure that you’re supplementing that increase with lots and lots of water. If you don’t, you can find yourself feeling bloated and very, very gassy. And no one wants that.
Photo Credit: Rob Russell
1"This Food Kills Colon Cancer," http://news.menshealth.com/this-food-kills-colon-cancer/2013/03/04/