October is breast cancer awareness month, but is certainly not the only month in which women should think about breast health. While no food can be solely blamed for the cause of breast cancer, and no food can prevent it, there are some foods that will keep women in optimal health thus reducing the chances of breast cancer.
Maintaining a healthy weight may reduce the risk of breast cancer reoccurrence. Studies have shown that women who gained weight after an ordeal with breast cancer had a greater chance of a relapse than those who maintained a healthy weight. Having said that, it is absolutely true that no single food or food group is linked to breast cancer specifically, however dieticians have a few recommendations for people who wish to reduce their risk of breast cancer.
Dieticians recommend that women maintain a healthy weight and eat a diet rich in fruit and vegetables. It is also recommended that the fat intake be limited to 20% of the daily calories consumed. This is a difficult task as it is very little fat, the best way to achieve this is by cutting all the saturated fats such as animal fat and margarine and eat only foods high in omega 3 fatty acids. The diet doctors also recommend reducing the intake of red meat, and charred, smoked or other carcinogenic foods.
There are also some superfoods that dieticians say are particularly high in antioxidants and may help reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Broccoli – cruciferous vegetables are high in antioxidants, but it is broccoli that is particularly healthy as it contains the compound sulforaphane which is thought to inhibit the enzyme HDAC (that works to suppress the body’s tumor fighting ability).
Garlic – Studies in France have shown that women who regularly ate garlic had a reduced risk of breast cancer. The National Cancer Institute has also given the garlic the title of a cancer risk reducing powerhouse.
Pomegranate – The little seedlings that make delicious juices and spice up boring salads can also help reduce the risk of breast cancer as they contain the photochemical called ellagitannins which interferes with the production of aromatase, an enzyme that increases the hormone production in breast tissue. This is important as breast cancer feeds of hormones.
Turmeric – Rankl, a molecule found in the deadliest and most aggressive of cancers, is suppressed by the compound curcumin found in turmeric.
Flaxseeds – These are just plain healthy and should be incorporated into any diet, the reason that they are super healthy for the reduction of the risk of breast cancer is that they slowed the movement and “clinginess” of breast cancer cells.
Diet plays an important role in the reduction of breast cancer. Almost four times as much as genetics does. An overall healthy lifestyle that includes a balance diet and exercise can reduce the risk of breast cancer as much as 38%.