Eating Whole Grains and Reducing Cancer Risks
An increased consumption of whole grains has been found by some studies to greatly reduce one’s risk for developing cancer. Many people do eat whole grains and those who follow the macrobiotic diet, eat a diet that consists of 50-60% of whole grains. Some of these grains include buckwheat, brown rice, quinoa, lentils, corn and rye.
Whole Grains as Good Sources of Fiber
Several studies showed that an increased consumption of whole grains can help reduce the risk for developing colorectal cancer.
This is made possible due to the high fiber content adding bulk to the digestive system, which speed up the digestive process and reduces the length of time that it takes for food wastes to travel into the colon.
This shortened-travel time is beneficial especially if the food waste contains carcinogens as they need to be removed from the body as quickly as possible. As a result, the risk of the lower intestines being affected by these carcinogens will be greatly reduced.
In addition, as fiber is broken down in the lower intestine with the help of bacteria, a substance called butyrate is also produced. Butyrate is known to be helpful for inhibiting the growth of certain types of cancer such as rectum and colon cancer.
Fiber Binds to Estrogen
The dietary fiber found in whole grains also plays a key role in the prevention of breast cancer. This is because fiber has the capability of binding to estrogen.
Having excess levels of estrogen in the body is known to increase the risk of breast cancer. Regular consumption of whole grains helps the liver to filter out estrogen from the bloodstream. Fiber helps expedite the process of removing excess estrogens and prevents them from causing the body harm, thereby helping reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
Whole Grains Contain Selenium
Several studies have shown that a selenium deficiency can increase the likelihood of several types of cancers developing. The amount of selenium obtained from the grains varies depending on the selenium content of the soil where the grains are grown. An adequate intake of selenium obtained from dietary sources was found to significantly reduce the risk of colorectal and prostate cancers. These types of cancers are two of the most common types of cancer.
A clinical trial showed that a 200mg dose of selenium daily can reduce cancer by as much as 37%. Test tube studies showed that selenium inhibits the growth of tumors and helps ensure that cells die before they become malignant. Selenium is also found to work in synergy with vitamin E in preventing the formation of carcinogens. Another reason why selenium reduces the risk of cancer is because it has the ability to activate a specific enzyme which is responsible for preventing the formation of free radicals.
Grain and Your Insulin Levels
Other studies have shown that the increased consumption of whole grains can help reduce an individual’s insulin levels. Having excess levels of serum insulin can increase the risk for breast, colon and other cancers.
The list of cancer reducing benefits that you can obtain by eating whole grains is quite substantial, especially when whole grains replace highly refined grains in the diet. Individuals need to test their own reactions to a high grain diet, even when whole grain is use, as some people’s systems cannot tolerate high grain consumption.