If you’ve got a daughter or granddaughter entering her teenage years, you might want to encourage her to follow a high fiber diet. It might save her from a future battle with breast cancer.
According to a study published on Monday, the amount of fiber consumed by teenage girls may play a major role in their likelihood of developing breast cancer later in life.
Dietary Fiber May Lower Breast Cancer Risk: Study
The study, which was released online by the journal Pediatrics, shows a convincing correlation between fiber intake and breast cancer risk.
Now, I know it’s pretty tough to get a teenager to do anything—let alone tell them what to eat—but this is something you might have a little more control over than you think. For example, if your daughter or granddaughter is 12 or 13 years old, it’s unlikely she’s doing the bulk of the grocery shopping. By making high-fiber meals and foods accessible in the home, you could be doing her a big favor.
And it’s not like she has to eat a remarkably high amount of fiber to experience the benefits. The study indicated that 25 grams per day was roughly all that was needed to lower the risk of breast cancer by almost 20%.
Key Ways to Add More Fiber to Your Diet
What are some of the ways you can increase the fiber available in your home? Well, you can purchase fiber-rich fruits like pears and apples, include more vegetables at dinner time, and encourage the use of whole-grain breads for lunch and oats for breakfast. Sprinkling some ground flax or chia seeds on yogurt, salads, or other foods is another easy way to encourage and boost fiber intake—they can even be added to baked goods like muffins if you need a way to sneak them in!
Eating a fiber-rich diet during the teen years may lower the risk of breast cancer later in life because it is a key time in body composition and breast development. Body composition in particular plays an important role because obesity is a major risk factor for breast cancer. Fiber-rich foods are typically low-calorie and contribute to a healthy weight.
The study followed 44,000 U.S. female nurses who were mostly in their 30s and 40s. After 20 years of observation, 1,000 participants developed breast cancer. Each participant was surveyed on their diet and lifestyle when they were younger, and the role of fiber came forth as a major factor.
Now we know that fiber plays a major role in your digestive system, heart health, and diabetes risk, so this link to breast cancer is unique. It could be because high-fiber foods are generally packed with micronutrients that contribute to overall health.
In any event, this finding could be very important for those of you who are looking to reduce the risk of breast cancer for a loved one.
Source for Today’s Article:
Farvid, M., et al., “Dietary Fiber Intake in Young Adults and Breast Cancer Risk,” Pediatrics, (published online ahead of print) March 2016; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1542/peds.2015-1226.