A new study says that consuming fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits and wholegrain breakfast cereals can decrease the risk of breast cancer in women.

Soluble fibers, that are aplenty in these foods were found to be associated with decreased risks of breast, and a higher total fiber consumption was linked to a lower risk of the disease in both postmenopausal and premenopausal women.

Reduced incidence of breast cancer

Soluble fiber includes pectins and beta-glucans (found for example in foods like fruit and oats) and insoluble fiber including cellulose (found for example in whole grains and nuts).

What is important to remember is that fiber-rich foods typically contain both types of fiber. "Our study contributes to the evidence that lifestyle factors, such as modifiable dietary practices, may affect breast cancer risk," said Maryam Farvid from Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Breast Cancer Awareness
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Consuming a diet high in fiber was linked with a reduced incidence of breast cancer in an analysis of all relevant prospective studies, said the study published online in peer-reviewed journal CANCER.

Pooling in data from 20 studies

Since previous studies have generated inconsistent results regarding the potential relationship between fiber intake and breast cancer, Farvid and her colleagues searched for all relevant prospective studies published through July 2019. When the investigators pooled data from the 20 observational studies they identified, individuals with the highest consumption of fiber had an eight percent lower risk of breast cancer.

"Our findings provide research evidence supporting the American Cancer Society dietary guidelines, emphasising the importance of a diet rich in fiber, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains," said Farvid.

Fiber-rich foods include wholegrain bread and oats, barley and rye; fruit such as bananas, apple. berries, pears, melon and oranges; vegetables such as broccoli, carrots and sweetcorn, Peas, beans and pulses, nuts and seeds and potatoes with skin.

(With inputs from agencies)