Tuesday, August 9, 2011

More Fibre Can Help Ward off Breast and other Cancers

By now, with all that we know about the benefits of fibre, there's really no excuse not to be bulking up your diet with the rough stuff. Fibre can help you manage your weight, prevent colon and other cancers, avoid nasty digestive disorders like constipation and even diarrhea, manage your cholesterol and prevent type 2 diabetes. Now, new research is suggesting that, on top of all of the other reasons to chow down on it, fibre can help fend off breast cancer.

In the new study, published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 10 previous studies were combined that looked at the diets and fibre consumption of nearly 700,000 women in total.

What the researchers found was that for every 10g increase in fibre consumption, the womens' risk of developing breast cancer reduced by 7%. The current daily recommendation for fibre consumption for a woman is a minimum of 25g per day, but more is good as long as you're drinking enough water to wash it down. Men should aim for 35g and above.

You can easily consume 10g of fibre by, for example, adding 2tbsp of ground flax seeds to your yogurt or breakfast, and snacking on one large pear and a handful (about 15) of almonds. You could also just as easily eat 1/2 a cup of a high-fibre cereal.

Despite knowing that we should be getting about 8-10 servings of fruits and veggies in our diets each day, which are an excellent source of fibre, a lot of people's diets tend to be meat-rich or otherwise quite beige. Even if that's the case, there is a multitude of great tasting high-fibre cereals on the market that can give you at least half of your daily recommendation for fibre in just one bowl. You can also use those cereals in place of bread crumbs and very simply shake up your meat or fish at dinner while meeting your fibre recommendations.

Getting your fibre from natural sources is the best idea because along with the fibre you get plenty of other nutrients, like healthy fats and cancer-fighting antioxidants which all work together to boost your health. Some other great sources of fibre are beans and legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains like quinoa and oats. If pasta is your thing, try switching to fibre-fortified pastas or better yet, ones made with whole grains; they taste great and they're so good for you!