Breast Cancer Rates Drop When Women Add Fibre to Their Diet

Prevent Breast Cancer

Prevent Breast Cancer

A large study of postmenopausal women revealed that when women increased their intake of fibre they could guard against certain type of breast cancer.

By: Natasha Morgan

Here’s what the experts learned:
•    A diet rich in fibre affected only hormone receptor-negative tumors.
•    The kind of fibre women consumed made a difference.

Types of Breast Cancer Tumors
Breast cancer tumors are either hormone receptor-positive or hormone receptor-negative. Hormone receptor-positive cells are fuelled by the female hormones estrogen and progesterone, while hormone receptor-negative cancer cells are not.

What Foods Contain Fibre?
All plant foods contain fibre to varying degrees but only soluble fibre affect the receptor-negative tumors.
Soluble fibre, as the name suggests, dissolves in water. When it reaches your stomach, it forms a gel and slows the rate of digestion and absorption. This is how soluble fibre controls blood sugar and insulin levels which have a direct impact on breast cancer cells.
Which Foods Are Rich in Soluble Fibre?
Oats, oat bran, psyllium-enriched breakfast cereals, barley, legumes, citrus fruit and apples all contain generous amounts of soluble fibre.

Other Ways to Combat Breast Cancer
Researchers further suggest that paying attention to the following dietary factors may also guard against breast cancer:

* Slow burning, or low-glycemic carbohydrates carry a lower risk of developing breast cancer and include the following foods:  Grainy breads, brown rice, pasta, sweet potato, bran cereals, steel-cut or large flake oatmeal and most types of fruit.
* Fast buring, or high-glycemic foods such as white bread, refined breakfast cereals and sugary drinks elevate the glucose and insulin levels that increase your risk of developing breast cancer.

Natural compounds in flaxseed bind to estrogen receptors on breast cells and block the action of the body’s own estrogen. By adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed to hot cereal, yogurt, smoothies, applesauce and baked-goods, you can reduce your risk of breast cancer.

Low-Fat Diet

Studies have shown that reducing fat intake can dramatically increase the survival rate of women diagnosed with estrogen-negative breast cancer.

Stick to skim milk, no fat yogurt and cheese with less than 15 per cent fat. Lean, skinless poultry, fish and beans are also a better bet than meat. Fats and oils should only be added when necessary.

Your body can eliminate carcinogens by regulating detoxification enzymes in the liver. Phytochemicals that are found in some vegetables help this process.

Bok choy, broccoli, broccoli sprouts, broccoflower, broccolini, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, rutabaga and turnip all contain phytochemicals.

Some experts suggest that alcohol may cause chemical reactions in your body and:
•    Make breast cells more vulnerable to the effects of carcinogens
•    Affect the liver’s processing of substances
•    Inhibit the ability of cells to repair faulty genes
•    Increase estrogen levels

Weight Gain
Excess weight has been clearly linked to breast cancer. Obesity can increase circulating estradiol, the most potent form of estrogen in the body.

Several decades of scientific study have produced guidelines that would reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Although the disease is more prevalent in older women, it’s never too early to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

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