“There is nothing so overrated as orgasm and as underrated as excrement.” I’ve heard this quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin but now I can’t seem to find a source. So what is it doing here? It began innocently. I asked my youngest son what I ought to blog about this week and with 8 year old humor he answered, “Poop.” Don’t worry, there’s no photo of the product.
Although this started out funny, it is widely acknowledged that one of the reasons that colon cancer and other diseases are often only caught in the later stages is that we don’t like to talk about our poop. And doesn’t that seem odd when we spend so much time talking about the food that we are putting into our bodies? It makes sense that we discuss what comes out the other end. After the loss of her husband who was 42 years old, Katie Couric declared, “Don’t be fool, talk about your stool.” Then she bravely endured a colonoscopy on national television. Researchers at the University of Michigan have dubbed the 20 % increase in colonoscopies performed the following years, “the Couric effect”.
When detected early, colon cancer victims have a 90% survivor rate but let’s focus on avoiding that diagnosis all together. One answer is fiber. Studies vary but suffice it to say that the average citizen in most developed countries doesn’t have adequate fiber intake. The recommended amounts differ depending upon age and sex and which source you’re reading but 25 – 30 grams wouldn’t hurt any of us. In fact, some studies show that upping the fiber intake is actually a more effective weight loss strategy than eating a low fat diet. Making high fiber foods a consistent part of our diets can help reduce risk of constipation, hemorrhoids, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, obesity, colon cancer, diabetes and heart disease. That’s plenty!
Among the virtues of fruits and vegetables are their high fiber content. This extends to grains and most importantly to legumes. (Don’t worry. My sons guarantee another post around the virtue of beans.) Legumes are easy to cook ahead of time. They freeze well and they’re easy to incorporate into daily meals. While eating the right things is a great strategy, I don’t want to lose focus on the true intent of this post. When your loved ones emerge from the loo, the WC, the bathroom or whatever you name your relief station, ask them how it went. It’s a topic that may save a life.
How can you incorporate more fiber into your diet and who will you tell about it?
- 6 oz asparagus cut in 1/2 inch pieces
- 6 oz cauliflower cut in bite-size pieces
- 6 oz celery chopped
- 6 oz cooked kidney beans
- 3 oz filberts chopped fine (hazelnuts)
- 4 Tbs sunflower oil
- 1 and 1/2 tsp chopped fresh dill
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp basil
- 1/2 tsp celery seed
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp salt