A new study from Vanderbilt University has shown that consuming enough fiber and yogurt can greatly reduce your risk of developing lung cancer.
The study was published in JAMA Oncology. It looked at 1.44 million people from the United States, Europe and Asia. The scientists discovered that those who ate large amounts of fiber and yogurt were between 15 to 19 percent less likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer.
The participants who regularly ate the most amounts of yogurt and fiber were 33% less likely to develop chronic pulmonary disease (COPD) as well. COPD is a lung disease that also increases an individual’s risk of developing lung cancer.
Why do yogurt and fiber decrease the risk of lung cancer?
The Vanderbilt team isn’t entirely sure. They believe it has to do with the anti-inflammatory aspects of these foods.
Yogurt and fiber both contain prebiotic and probiotic properties. Both of these things help to boost the health of your gut by introducing healthy bacteria. The gut microbiome is essential in maintaining your overall health. It helps to support your immune system, which ultimately fights off harmful pathogens. The more diverse your gut bacteria are, the healthier your microbiome is.
Since yogurt and fiber both contain healthy bacteria, regular consumption can help to maintain a healthy gut.
What other kinds of food contain prebiotics and probiotics?
You can get prebioitics from consuming high-fiber foods. Prebiotics help to build your immune system and support your metabolism. They also “feed” and nurture the probiotics in your gut. Foods high in fiber include fruits like apples (with skin) and berries, as well as green vegetables like broccoli and spinach. Baked potatoes (with skin) also contain good fiber.
Women should try to consume 25 grams of fiber each day, while men should try to consume 38 grams each day.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that help to boost the function of your gut microbiome, benefiting the immune system overall.
Foods like yogurt are high in probiotic strains like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. You’ll want to eat yogurt that contains at least 25 billion CFUs (colony-forming units.) You’ll also want at least 8 different probiotic strains to get a good variety.
You can get probiotics from consuming foods like yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha. You can also add a probiotic supplement to your diet, but make sure it’s high quality. It should fulfill the strain requirement listed above and should be kept in the refrigerator, as this preserves the integrity of the bacteria.
Studies have shown that consuming enough fiber and probiotic-rich foods can help to prevent many diseases, both minor and major. But this new study linking those nutrients to a lower risk of lung cancer is further proof just how powerful gut health is.