|Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor|
Pink ribbons are popping up everywhere as people become more aware of the devastating effects of breast cancer. It seems like everyone is interested in finding a cure, but did you know there may be ways to actually reduce your risk of this deadly disease?
That’s what researchers from Imperial College, London and the University of Leeds found in a meta-analysis published online ahead of print on January 10, 2011, in the journal Annals of Oncology. According to their research, eating more fiber could significantly reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
The researchers examined sixteen studies dealing with fiber intake and breast cancer. They found that increasing your intake of fiber by 10 grams daily was associated with a 26% reduced risk in developing breast cancer. However, these results were only noted for soluble fiber; no similar results were seen for insoluble fiber.
The researchers theorize that fiber may play a role in binding estrogen or in reducing the absorption of the hormone. They plan to conduct further studies to try to clarify the mechanism behind the reduced breast cancer risk.
Soluble fiber attracts water and forms a gel in your stomach, providing you with a variety of benefits including feeling fuller. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, doesn’t dissolve in your stomach and passes pretty quickly through your digestive system, acting as a laxative.
As mentioned above, fiber has been associated with weight loss because it can make you feel fuller. Previous studies have also linked it to preventative effects in regards to cardiovascular, respiratory, and infectious diseases.
Looking to boost your soluble fiber intake? A breakfast of oatmeal, apples, berries, and nuts is packed with fiber in the morning. Lunch or dinner that includes cucumbers, carrots, celery, lentils, beans, or flaxseed will round out a fiber-rich day.
If none of those foods appeal to you, there are supplements on the market which can provide all of your daily fiber intake needs.