An important new study has come out saying that eating a diet high in fiber could protect you from colorectal cancer. Published in the prestigious “BMJ,” it identified fiber from cereal and whole grains as being most important. You want to know how to prevent cancer? This is one solid answer.
We’ve long known that fiber-rich foods are healing foods. Eating fiber and whole grains helps protect against heart disease. But its association with colorectal cancer risk is less clear, though studies have been addressing it for 40 years.
The new results help clarify the picture. Increasing fiber intake, particularly cereal fiber and whole grains, helps prevent colorectal cancer. Whole-grain foods include whole-grain breads and cereals, oatmeal, brown rice, and porridge.
The third most common cancer, colorectal cancer strikes 1.2 million people each year. The new study is part of a project by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research.
Researchers analyzed 25 studies involving nearly two million participants. Though the overall reductions in cancer risk were small, it clearly showed that dietary fiber had a protective effect. For every 10 grams of dietary fiber per day, there was a 10% reduced risk of colorectal cancer. If you add three servings (90 grams/day) of whole grains, you get a 20% reduced risk.
Strangely, there was no great evidence showing a link between fruit or vegetable fiber and risk of colorectal cancer. So for colon cancer, it appears that cereal fiber and whole grain fiber are key.
What’s more: boosting your intake of fiber may drop your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, being overweight, obesity, and even death by any cause. Replacing any refined grains with whole grains in your diet can go a long way toward optimal health.
This adds more weight to the notion that whole grains carry big-time health benefits. Science is still trying to figure out what actual mechanisms are responsible for this. But there is no doubt that whole grains are powerfully healthy healing foods.
Fiber has many other great health benefits. Read the article More Evidence That Fiber Protects Your Heart.