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A fibre-rich diet is all you need to keep the risk of breast cancer at bay, says study

Published on:7 April 2020, 09:00am IST
Breast cancer is one of the biggest menaces in a woman’s life. But thankfully researchers have got a solution to it too. Give this one a read to know.
ANI
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mammography and breast cancer
Early detection can save your life, ladies. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

Breast cancer cases are on the rise. The main culprit to be blamed here is our lifestyle. According to experts, the cases of breast cancer are increasing because of our unhealthy habits, including stress, food habits, and consumption of tobacco products and alcohol.

But thankfully, one habit can turn things around for you. 

The new large-scale study led by researchers at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health was published online in the journal Pediatrics suggests that young women who eat high-fibre foods in their adolescence, especially fruits and vegetables may have significantly lower breast cancer risk than those who eat less dietary fibre when young. Isn’t it great news. 

breast cancer
Early detection through mammography can prevent breast disease. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Maryam Farvid, a visiting scientist at Harvard Chan School and lead author of the study, said,” Previous studies of fibre intake and breast cancer have almost all been non-significant, and none of them examined diet during adolescence or early adulthood, a period when breast cancer risk factors appear to be particularly important.”

Farvid added: 

This work on the role of nutrition in early life and breast cancer incidence suggests one of the very few potentially modifiable risk factors for premenopausal breast cancer.  

The researchers looked at a group of 90,534 women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study II, a large long-running investigation of factors that influence women’s health. 

There are other factors that can lead to breast cancer
In 1991, the women — aged between 27-44 at the time — filled out questionnaires about their food intake and did so every four years after that. They also completed a questionnaire in 1998 about their diet during high school.

The researchers analysed the women’s fibre intake while adjusting for a number of other factors, such as race, family history of breast cancer, body mass index, weight change over time, menstruation history, alcohol use, and other dietary factors.

Breast cancer risk was 12% to 19% lower among women who ate more dietary fibre in early adulthood, depending on how much more they ate. High intake of fibre during adolescence was also associated with 16% lower risks of overall breast cancer and 24% lower risk of breast cancer before menopause.

breast
It might become harder to find cancerous lumps in bigger breasts during an examination. Image caption: Shutterstock

Fruits and vegetables may help you big in the prevention of breast cancer
Among all the women, there was a strong inverse association between fibre intake and breast cancer incidence. For each additional 10 grams of fibre intake daily — for example, about one apple and two slices of whole wheat bread or about half a cup each of cooked kidney beans and cooked cauliflower or squash— during early adulthood, breast cancer risk dropped by 13%. The greatest apparent benefit came from fruit and vegetable fibre.

breast lumps
Whatever you may find through a self-examination, be sure to inform your gynae. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The authors speculated that eating more fibre-rich foods may lessen breast cancer risk partly by helping to reduce high estrogen levels in the blood, which are strongly linked with breast cancer development

So, do incorporate a good amount of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet and steer away the chances of breast cancer.