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Eat Those Fruits and Veggies! High Dietary Fiber May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong conducted an in-hospital study and found that higher levels of fiber intake was associated with preventing breast cancer. The results were published online ahead of print publication in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition on May 4, 2011.

The study focused on 438 women with primary breast cancer. The women were matched with a control group of 438 women who did not have breast cancer and were from the same geographical area (urban/rural). Each participant was also within a 5 year age range of their control.

The participants were given an 81-item questionnaire about their fiber intake. The questionnaire broke the types of fiber into four categories: cereal, soy, vegetable, and fruit fiber.

The control group reported an average of 10.6 grams of fiber consumption per day, while the breast cancer group reported only 5.57 grams of fiber per day.

Further analysis showed that only higher intake of vegetable and fruit fibers reduced the risk of breast cancer. There were no benefits seen in intake of cereal and soy fiber. This could be because fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are good for your health. However, it could also be because refined grains do not contain a very high amount of fiber.

Fiber is very easy to incorporate into your everyday diet. Fruit can be added to breakfast cereal, pancakes, smoothies, or made into a fruit salad. Having a green salad at lunch and dark green veggies at dinner will also significantly increase your fiber intake.

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