Breast Cancer Prevention – Nutrition

Although there is no diet that fully prevents someone from developing breast cancer, there are nutrition and lifestyle choices women can make to increase their protection from breast cancer.
Being at a healthy weight lowers one’s risk of developing breast cancer. An overweight woman has more fatty tissue and subsequently has higher estrogen levels; an increase in hormones leads for different types of cancers to develop.

How to maintain healthy weight:

• Exercise 3-4 times a week
• Abide by a plant-based diet
• Limit dietary fats

A plant-based diet is enveloped by antioxidants which subsequently boost the immune system. An immune system in its healthiest state is key in reducing risk for cancer as the cells in the immune system can detect and attack mutations in cells before they culminate into disease.
How to increase antioxidant consumption:
• Consume foods high in Vitamin C (orange, green peppers, strawberries, broccoli)
• Consume foods high in Vitamin E (sunflower oil, almonds, sunflower seeds, whole wheat bread)
• Consume foods high in beta-carotene (squash, collards, carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach)

A diet high in fruits and vegetables has been linked to lowering the risk of a woman developing breast cancer. A study conducted by Harvard University’s Department of Public Health investigated the link between diet and breast cancer risk. This investigation resulted in a notable association between consumption of vegetables and broccoli and lower breast cancer risk. Women are recommended to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. However, much of the population consumes much below the serving recommendation. It is imperative to consume the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables as the study showed that women who consume more than 5.5 servings of fruits and vegetables had an 11 percent lower risk of breast cancer.

Fruits and Vegetables especially linked to breast cancer prevention:

• Broccoli
• Kale
• Berries
• Peaches

As noted, women with higher amounts of fatty tissue are more at risk for breast cancer. However, the body needs fats to run and the key is to consume the right fats…healthy fats. It is important to consume omega fats and, polyunsaturated fats, and monounsaturated fats in the right amounts.

Foods with Healthy Fats:

• Avocados
• Olive oil
• Nuts
• Seeds
• Cold water fish: salmon and herring

It is also important to limit consumption of red meat as red meat when cooked releases toxins. Processed meats also tend to be high in preservatives, salt, and trans fats. Hence, it is additionally beneficial to limit the amount of processed foods in general in one’s diet.

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