Fiber Gives Antioxidants a Ride
You've heard that getting enough fiber in your diet can help prevent colon cancer. Australian researchers have now discovered just how fiber works its magic. Itacts as an antioxidant trafficker by safely transporting antioxidant nutrients to the colon where they can provide protection against cancer.
A release from the University of Queensland quotes study author Anneline Padayachee as saying, “Cells in fruits and vegetables are ‘opened’ allowing nutrients to be released when they are juiced, pureed, or chewed. In an unexpected twist, I found that after being released from the cell 80 percent of available antioxidant polyphenols bind to plant fiber with minimal release during the stomach and small intestinal phases of digestion. Fiber is able to safely and effectively transport polyphenols to the colon where these compounds may have a protective effect on colon health as they are released during plant fiber fermentation by gut bacteria.”
The study, which was published in the journal Food Chemistry, has a message for fresh juice lovers who throw out antioxidants along with fiber-rich pulp. “In juicing, the fibrous pulp is usually discarded, which means you miss out on the health benefits of these antioxidants as well as the fiber,” says Padayachee. “As long as you consume everything—the raw or cooked whole vegetable or fruit, drink mainly cloudy juices, and eat the fibrous pulp—you will not only have a clean gut, but also a healthy gut full of protective polyphenols.”