Scientists believe fiber may lower breast cancer risk in several important ways. Some studies have found that fiber reduces the amount of cancer-causing hormones, including reducing estrogen levels in premenopausal women, menopausal women, and breast cancer survivors [1-3]. A recent medical study found that high fiber intakes were associated with a 42% lower risk of postmenopausal breast cancer when comparing women with the highest amount of fiber consumption to women with the lowest amount . Getting enough is very important, so aim for 30 or more grams of soluble fiber every day. You have to plan ahead to eat this amount. I blend a fiber powder into my daily protein shake. Raspberries, pears and apples are three of the best fiber-rich fruits. Oatmeal, corn, beans, nuts, and popcorn are tasty ways to get more. Chewable fiber pills are easy. Drink plenty of fluids when eating fiber. Because a high-fiber diet also helps you lose weight, it is wise to start adding fiber to your anti-breast cancer regimen now.
1. Wayne SJ, Neuhouser ML, Ulrich CM, Koprowski C, Baumgartner KB, Baumgartner RN, McTiernan A, Bernstein L, Ballard-Barbash R. Dietary fiber is associated with serum sex hormones and insulin-related peptides in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 2008; 112:149-158.
2. Forman MR. Changes in dietary fat and fiber and serum hormone concentrations: nutritional strategies for breast cancer prevention over the life course. Journal of Nutrition 2007; 137(Suppl 1):170S-174S.
3. Rock CL, Flatt SW, Thomson CA, Stefanick ML, Newman VA, Jones LA, Natarajan L, Ritenbaugh C, Hollenbach KA, Pierce JP, Chang RJ. Effects of a high-fiber, low-fat diet intervention on serum concentrations of reproductive steroid hormones in women with a history of breast cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2004; 22:2379-2387.
4. Mattisson I, Wirfalt E, Johansson U, Gullberg B, Olsson H, Berglund G. Intakes of plant food, fibre, and fat and risk of breast cancer – a prospective study in the Malmo Diet and Cancer cohort. British Journal of Cancer 2004; 90:122-127.
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