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The Power of Green Antioxidants for Reducing the Risk of Breast Cancer

Going “green” has many powerful benefits for leading a more healthy lifestyle. In this case, going “green” means your diet primarily consists of fruits and vegetables that are packed with antioxidants, molecules that fight free radicals in your body that are mostly found in plant foods. Obtaining these benefits can be as easy as adding this food group into your daily meal plans. 

Continue reading to discover what green foods to add to your diet for breast cancer prevention and more.

Cancer Fighting Cabbage

Did you know that cabbage consumption is associated with a reduced breast cancer risk? You see, cabbage contains chemicals that may change the way estrogen is used in the body which is thought to reduce the risk of cancer development. This veggie is an excellent source of beta-carotene, choline, folate and vitamin C. 

Amazingly, this relative of broccoli has also been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a catalyst for many chronic disorders and diseases, including cancer, diabetes and arthritis. Like other cruciferous vegetables, compounds in cabbage have also been shown to increase the effects of chemotherapy.To reap maximum benefits, cabbage should be minimally cooked or eaten raw for maximum cancer-fighting properties.

Antioxidant-Rich 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.

Just a single cup of green tea contains between 100 and 200 milligrams (mg) of powerful anti-tumor ingredients.

Nutrient-Packed Broccoli

Adding broccoli to your meal boasts a number of health benefits. Broccoli contains a hefty amount of sulforaphane, a potent compound that increases the body’s protective enzymes and removes cancer-causing chemicals from the body. The chemicals found in cruciferous vegetables, especially broccoli, show promise for reducing the risk of breast cancer. 

Radical Destroying Leafy Greens

Dark, leafy greens of all types, from spinach and kale to bok choy, contain breast cancer fighting antioxidants. Antioxidants are known to destroy free radicals in the body that are responsible for the development of breast cancer. Eating leafy, cruciferous veggies have been shown to decrease the estrogen metabolite 16alpha-hydroxyestrone, which plays a role in the development of breast cancer development.

Healthy Fat in Olive Oil

Consuming a Mediterranean diet may have more benefits than you think! In the Meditterranean region, breast cancer rates are approximately 50% lower than in the U.S. A Mediterranean diet, one focused on healthy foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, seafood, beans, and nuts, also incorporates olive oil into their cooking routines. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat and polyphenol content that has been shown to reduce breast cancer risk. 

In fact, a recent study showed that women who ate a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil had a 68% lower risk of developing breast cancer compared to the controlled group of women.

Zinc Found in Legumes

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).

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.