Three a Day! How to Get Enough Fiber in Your Diet

FiberThree bowel movements a day is ideal for dispelling toxins, and this daily, natural detox process is vital to keeping many diseases, including breast cancer, at bay. Maybe you don’t really want to chat about it, but there’s no need to be embarrassed or shy about the important process of elimination. Moving the bowels is the way we expel what we no longer need.

How can you make sure your bowels are moving three times a day? Eating enough fiber (think seeds, legumes, fruits, veggies and whole grains) is one important way. Fiber lowers estrogen levels and helps us eliminate toxins. In fact, research has shown that vegetarians excrete two to three times more estrogen in their stools than non-vegetarians!

Here are a few tips for maintaining a healthy bowel system:

  • Consume 45 grams of fiber daily (just over 1 ½ ounces) so toxins can exit quickly.
  • Load up on fruits, veggies, and whole grains. You can also add two tbsp. of freshly ground flaxseed and 2 tbsp. chia seeds to a smoothie or breakfast cereal.
  • Minimize flour products like bread, cookies, and pasta.
  • Make friends with beans, which are loaded with fiber! Consume one to two cups a day: soybeans, fava beans, yellow peas, pinto beans, green lentils, garbanzo beans, black turtle beans, kidney beans, lentils, and more.
  • Drink plenty of water! Pure, filtered water helps keep our systems flowing with regularity.
  • Choose to be active! Exercise such as walking, rebounding and yoga will help keep all systems go! (If you’re into yoga, check out the excellent Kundalini yoga exercise set called “Kriya for a Healthy Bowel.”)
  • Go when you feel the urge. It’s important to listen to your body: when you feel the need for a bowel movement, don’t delay. Take advantage of nature’s way of cleansing and clearing.

Aim to eat at least 45 grams or just over 1 ½ ounces of fiber each day. This is equivalent to the combination of 1 cup of beans, 2 tbsp ground flaxseed, 1 tbsp psyllium, 6 servings of fruits and vegetables and 2 servings of whole grain.

Use this handy chart to calculate your fiber intake over the next three days:

Grams / Oz Fiber Food Item Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
15 g / .53 oz 1 cup kidney beans
10 g / .35 oz


½ cup wheat or oat bran

2 ½ tbsp psyllium

2 tbsp chia seeds

1 cup split peas

1 ¼ cup lentils

¾ cup navy beans

¼ cup ground flaxseed

5 g / .18 oz ½ cup cooked dried beans, peas or lentils

1 serving of a high fiber wheat bran cereal

2 g / .07 oz.


1 serving of a fruit or vegetable

1 serving of any whole grain food

1 cup oatmeal

1 slice of whole grain bread

½ cup whole grain pasta

½ whole grain bagel

1 slice rye crisp cracker

½ cup cooked brown rice

1 g / .035 oz.


1 serving of refined grain

10 almonds

20 filberts

Total: Total: Total:
3-day Average:

Healthy Breast Foundations Manual and

Cancer Res. 1981 Sep;41(9 Pt 2):3771-3.

Effect of diet on excretion of estrogens in pre- and postmenopausal women.

Goldin BR, Adlercreutz H, Dwyer JT, Swenson L, Warram JH, Gorbach SL.

For more information and guidance on breast cancer prevention and/or recovery, see

We invite you to partner with us in educating women in ways to reduce breast cancer risk through our October international #breasthealthchallenge campaign.

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