(NaturalHealth365) By now we all know that fiber is good for us. You probably also know that its benefits have something to do with your gut and you are right!
Fiber helps good gut bacteria metabolize food and also helps to eliminate toxins through the colon. Eating the right amounts of the right kinds of fiber can help reduce obesity, can keep your heart strong and can help your body “run smoothly” in general.
But did you know that eating foods that are high in fiber can also help you prevent breast cancer?
The skinny on fiber
Basically, there are two kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber can be found in vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, lentils, peas and some grains, such as oats. Soluble fiber attracts water, can be easily dissolved in the gut and has the effect of slowing down the digestion process.
Insoluble fiber is also known as “roughage.” Examples of foods that contain a healthy amount of insoluble fiber include wheat bran, some forms of beans and some vegetables such as parsnips and spinach, as well as whole grains. Insoluble fiber cannot be digested by the gut and that is exactly why we need it. Roughage brushes the insides of you colon on its way out, which helps to remove toxins.
The connection between fiber and breast cancer
Both insoluble and soluble fiber have profound effects on breast cancer mainly because of their ability to help regulate hormones. Women who have breast cancer can have 1 million times higher estrogen levels in their breast tissue than healthy women.
Insoluble fiber helps to regulate glucose metabolism and insulin levels. According to some experts, insulin resistance and high blood sugar increase the risk of breast cancer by close to 300 percent!
How does fiber reduce the risk of breast cancer?
Insoluble fiber also helps play a role in risk reduction for estrogen-positive breast cancer. After estrogen is broken down by the liver, what is not used is sent to the colon to be eliminated. When there is very little or no insoluble fiber present in the large intestine to move things along, the estrogen has no choice but to recirculate into the body. This can lead to estrogen overload. In contrast, when there is enough insoluble fiber in the colon, excess estrogen can be eliminate properly.
Soluble fiber intake, in particular, has a major effect on the prevention of estrogen-positive breast cancer because of its role in hormonal distribution and because of the ways it interacts with the immune system.
In fact, some microbes in your gut have the specific job of fermenting soluble fiber found in legumes, fruits, and vegetables; the byproducts of this fermentation process help to nourish the immune system cells lining your colon. Happy, well-nourished immune system cells means less inflammation in your body, and less chance for cancer cells to grow.
In terms of fiber’s effect on estrogen-positive breast cancer, researchers are continuously discovering new connections. Here are some highlights:
- According to a study conducted by UCLS School of Medicine, a high fiber diet can reduce estradiol and estrone levels in women
- High dietary fiber has shown to decrease blood estrogen levels and decrease breast cancer risk, especially among post-menopausal women, according to a 2009 study conducted by the National Cancer Institute
- Eating vegetables as well as fruits and raw nuts decreased pre-menopausal risk for breast cancer in a study conducted by the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of New York, Buffalo.
High fiber foods are loaded with cancer-fighting properties
One such agent are lignans, found in high fiber foods such as cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower) and especially in flax. Lignans are phytochemicals that have a very powerful effect in neutralizing aggressive and prolific forms of estrogen. Lignans mimic naturally-occurring estrogen at cellular receptor sites. There, they can take the place of more aggressive forms of estrogen, such as xenoestrogens which are introduced through chemical exposure and bad eating habits.
A 2005 study conducted by the University of Toronto and published in the Journal of Clinical Cancer Research gave patients a 25 gram flaxseed-containing muffin (containing 5 tablespoons of flax) every day over the course of 32 days. The researchers then did an analysis of breast tissue after surgery and discovered that tumor growth had been reduced by up to 71% in those who ate the muffins compared the control group (who did not).
According to study researchers: “Dietary flaxseed has the potential to reduce tumor growth in patients with breast cancer.”
If you are on a healthy breast journey, you have a lot of tools to keep in your breast cancer prevention and healing toolbox. Eating plenty of high-fiber fruits, vegetables and flax and moderate amounts of legumes in order to boost your immune system, regulate your hormones and keep things running smoothly in your gut is definitely one of them.
About the author: Dr. Veronique Desaulniers (“Dr. V”) is a best-selling author and specialist in Chiropractic, Bio-Energetics, Meridian Stress Analysis, Homeopathy and Digital Thermography. After 30 years in active practice, she decided to “retire” and devote her time to sharing her personal, non-toxic Breast Cancer healing journey with others. Her years of experience and research have culminated in “The 7 Essentials™ “, a step-by-step coaching program that unravels the mystery of healing the body. Her website and personal healing journey have touched the lives of thousands of women around the globe. To get your F.R.E.E. 7-day mini e-course and to receive her weekly inspiring articles on the power of natural medicine – visit: BreastCancerConqueror.com
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