black beans fiberWe often assume doctors have all the answers. But one incredibly frustrating gap in U.S. physicians' knowledge is nutrition. I couldn't agree more with Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, when he asserted a couple of weeks ago on Real Time With Bill Maher that most doctors just simply do not receive sufficient training and education about using food as medicine. But thankfully, there are a few researchers out there investigating the link -- particularly when it comes to breast cancer.

Chinese researchers recently found that women who eat more fiber in their diets are less likely to get the disease. Specifically, women who ate the most of the healthy plant components were 11 percent less likely to develop breast cancer than women who ate the least. But it's an association, not necessarily a direct link. In other words, eating more fiber might just be a piece of the puzzle when it comes to living a healthier lifestyle overall, which certainly cuts breast cancer risk.

However, there is support for fiber having a directly protective effect on our hormones!

Chinese researchers say people who eat high-fiber diets have lower levels of estrogen, which is a risk factor for breast tumors.

The bottom line, though, is that eating higher fiber foods (like beans, veggies, and whole grains) is innately healthier. They can lower cholesterol and help with weight-loss. If a bonus upshot is that these foods directly or indirectly guard against cancer, even better, right?

Do you eat a high-fiber diet?

 

Image via Robert Judge/Flickr