6 Breast Cancer-Fighting Foods to Incorporate into Your Diet
The American Cancer Society states that more than 4 in 10 cancers and cancer deaths can be preventable, due to lifestyle and dietary factors. Our genetics predispose us to certain types of cancer, which unfortunately cannot be avoided. However, there are ways to help reduce our risk of developing breast cancer, like adding food items to your diet that are packed with nutrition and cancer-fighting abilities. Note, there is no one food or diet that can guarantee the prevention of breast cancer, but dietary choices can help reduce our overall risk of developing it.
Science has found that adding these six foods to your diet can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.
Legumes, including chickpeas, lentils, peas and beans, are an excellent source of many important nutrients and minerals, such as zinc. Consuming zinc improves cellular functions and delivers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties into the body. For women, consuming the recommended amount of zinc can be particularly beneficial as studies show that it can improve the treatment for some types of aggressive breast cancers. It is recommended for women to consume between 8-9 mg of zinc daily (note, all recommendations vary depending on a person’s age and sex).
#2: Dietary Fiber
Having an excess of estrogen can increase the risk of developing and spreading certain types of breast cancer. This is why some breast cancer treatments try to stop estrogen from interacting with breast cancer cells. Adding dietary fiber to your meal plan can help increase the elimination of estrogen in the body. It is recommended to consume up to 25.2 grams of fiber on one day.
#3: Healthy Fats
Consuming the “right” type of fat is key. Consuming an excess of foods that are rich in “bad” fats (saturated fats, trans fat) can result in weight gain and obesity, which are both risk factors for developing breast cancer. Healthy fats include avocado, fatty fish, chia seeds, extra virgin olive oil and nuts. Healthy fats have the ability to support cell function and help your body absorb important nutrients. It is recommended that a woman consume 25-35% of total caloric intake from fats.
#4: Colorful Fruits and Leafy Vegetables
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables has many health benefits. In fact, a study of more than 91,000 women found that a diet comprised of mostly plant-based foods, high in fruits and vegetables, can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by up to 15%. The study compared a plant-based diet to four other diets including a high-protein diet, a high carbohydrate diet, an ethnic diet and a low-calorie salad-based diet. The study concluded that the best fruits and vegetables to consume for breast health are dark, green vegetables, such as kale and brussel sprouts, beans, eggs and fruits, such as berries and peaches.
Mushrooms are rich in selenium, a mineral found in soil that contains antioxidant properties that may enhance can enhance your immune system response. In some cultures, selenium has been used for decades alongside chemotherapy and radiation therapy to treat certain cancers. While scientists are still studying the effects of mushrooms reducing the risk of cancer, what they have found is positive.
#6: Green Tea
Drinking green tea has a number of positive health benefits, from reducing blood pressure to even improving dental health and the risk of breast cancer. Green tea is loaded with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and possible anti-carcinogenic properties, which can help decrease a woman’s risk and recurrence of breast cancer. Observational studies have found that women who drink green tea regularly have a 20-30% lower risk of getting breast cancer.
Lower Your Risk of Developing Breast Cancer
Science says that eating certain foods can reduce our risk of developing breast cancer. At HerScan, we advocate that you do everything in your power to protect your health. Incorporate these foods into your diet consistently to receive these health benefits and feel better each day.
If you want to do more for your health, schedule a Breast Ultrasound Screening appointment with us. HerScan is a mobile breast screening service, meaning we travel all over the country to hundreds of different cities to hold our health events. Click here to schedule an appointment in your city today.