Adding Fiber to The Diet Can Prevent Breast Cancer Risk

A recent report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that increased dietary fiber consumption protects against the risk of breast cancer. Women who consumed the most fiber averaged an 11 percent lower risk of breast cancer compared to those who ate the least.

Researchers reviewed 10 studies of dietary fiber intake and breast cancer incidence. When averaged, the collective research demonstrated that people who consumed the most dietary fiber had an 11% lower risk of breast cancer incidence compared to those who consumed the least fiber. This statistic applied to people of various ethnic groups and age categories. In fact, findings revealed every 10 gram (daily) increase in dietary fiber corresponded to a 7% reduction in risk of breast cancer. In other words, folks who consumed an average of 35 grams of fiber per day had a 7% lower risk of breast cancer than those consuming an average of 25 grams per day, and thus a 14% lower risk than those consuming 15 grams per day.

In a recent study (Dec 15 2008, Journal of Clinical Oncology) researchers found that high-fiber diets reduced recurrence of breast cancer by 31 percent in women with high estrogen levels. In the study, almost 3,000 breast cancer survivors were assigned to either a high-fiber diet (8 fruit and vegetable servings/day, plus 16 oz of vegetable juice), or a comparison diet of just five servings of fruit and vegetables/day.

How can fiber help prevent and fight breast cancer?

1. Fiber binds with toxic substances and removes them from the body.

The primary function of fiber is to transport toxins out of the system and absorb many of those toxins,

Adding fiber to the diet  helps the body detoxify by promoting regularity. Fiber binds with toxic substances and removes them from the body.

Toxins produce free radicals that are linked with cancer cells. Also, fiber produces beneficial intestinal flora that increase the body’s immune function involved in fighting cancer. Not to mention, high fiber foods are loaded with antioxidants that protect against cancer.

2. Fiber reduces high estrogen levels

Estrogen is eliminated through the liver and then through the bowel. Fiber binds to the excess estrogen in the intestines so it cannot be reabsorbed back into the bloodstream and our bodies. Fiber increases the bulk of stool and increases how fast we eliminate, ideally every 12-18 hrs.  .  Insoluble fiber is best for binding estrogen

Insoluble fiber intake may lower breast cancer risk because it slows carbohydrate absorption and lowers glycemic response and insulin levels. Eating foods like oatmeal, barley, quinoa and buckwheat plus squash and green vegetables may help,

Two good sources of dietary fiber are:

1. Psyllium seed husks powder

While there are many ways to add fiber to your diet, using psyllium is the best method. In equal amounts of oat bran and psyllium, the bran would have just 5 grams of fiber while the psyllium would contain 71 grams.

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Psyllium acts as a true dietary fiber supplement, not just a laxative or anti-diarrhea. Unlike many laxatives, this supplement actually is soothing and healing to the intestinal tract.

100g of psyllium contains about 71g of soluble fiber. Few other sources of soluble fiber match the potency of psyllium husks. For instance, oat bran, another popular soluble fiber source, only has 5 g of soluble fiber for every 100g.

Studies have shown that no fiber is as effective as Psyllium seed husks for trapping and removing toxins and wastes. Psyllium fiber adds gentle bulk, acting as a broom for your intestinal lining, and helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Once psyllium enters the colon it produces a spongy mass that literally absorbs the toxins. It absorbs the excess water and absorbs the toxic waste that is trapped in the crevices inside the bowels. It then stimulates contractions that are necessary for proper bowel movements and eliminates the waste.

Unlike insoluble fibers such as oat and wheat bran, psyllium doesn’t irritate the bowel lining, it works to soothe it. There is no undue stress put on nerve reflexes, the bowel tone isn’t damaged and psyllium is so safe that it’s approved for long term usage.

How to Take Psyllium

Take it with at minimum 8 ounces of water. Generally speaking, the more water, the better the absorption properties of the psyllium fiber in your intestinal tract.

Psyllium that is mixed with water thickens quickly so it must be consumed immediately. If it is the first time taking Psyllium, begin with a low dose (one-half to one teaspoon) mixed with 8 oz (1 liter water daily). Increase to up to two teaspoons and two 8 oz glasses of water daily as needed. Take either in the morning or before bedtime.

It is very important to drink plenty of water throughout the day, up to six to eight full glasses of water, as Psyllium soaks up water in the digestive tract. A shortage of water could cause constipation or intestinal blockage.

2. Flax seeds

Ground up flax seeds are the highest source of lignans, an estrogen modulating substance that is very protective against estrogen dependent cancers-from breast cancer to prostate cancer.

The lignans in flaxseed appear to play a role in protecting against breast, colon, prostate, and perhaps skin cancer. Although further studies are needed, research undertaken at the University of Toronto indicates that women with breast cancer, regardless of the degree of cancer invasiveness, may benefit from treatment with flaxseed

Ground up flax contains  50% soluble fibers and 50% insoluble fibers, so you get the regulating effects of the fiber as well as the effects of blood sugar stabilization, and even cholesterol regulation.

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