Breast Cancer Prevention Diet
Many factors can increase a woman’s chance of preventing and surviving breast cancer. Lifestyle factors such as regular physical activity, minimizing stress, and eating a healthy balanced diet can help reduce your chance of getting breast cancer. Over the years, the link between a healthy diet and breast cancer has become even more evident.
People have increasingly begun to look to good nutrition as a way to prevent and survive this form of cancer. However, it is not necessarily a specific food that can reduce your risk, but a combination of different healthy foods that make up a well-balanced breast cancer prevention diet. In general, a healthy low-fat diet offers the best protection and the most important items to include in your cancer prevention diet are healthy fats, lots of fruits and vegetables and foods high in fiber.
The daily consumption of foods containing omega-3 fatty acids is vital to breast cancer prevention. The body uses omega-3 fatty acids as an anticoagulant and they can also help lower your triglycerides. That means they are very useful in preventing cardiovascular disease as well as cancer and are an important part of a balanced diet. Some excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fish, like salmon and sardines, olive oil and flaxseed. There may also be a particularly valuable benefit in combining omega-3 fatty acids with other nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E or beta-carotene.
Perhaps the most important aspect of your breast cancer prevention diet is increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants, phytochemcials and reduce the free radicals in your system. Antioxidants neutralize carcinogens and help your body recognize and eliminate malignant cells. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and dark green leafy vegetables are especially high in phytochemicals. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes, guava and red grapefruit. Yellow and orange vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes and squash are also significant sources of vitamins and antioxidants.
Fiber is the final key to a breast cancer prevention diet. Eating high fiber foods can help lower your estrogen levels and fight breast cancer. Fiber also lowers blood fat levels by increasing the elimination of fats from your body. Good sources of fiber are oatmeal, beans, whole wheat bread and brown rice
There are several other dietary changes that can increase your body’s cancer fighting ability. It is important to drink lots of water and green tea while reducing your consumption of alcohol and caffeinated beverages. Also, try to eliminate cold cuts, lunchmeats, processed foods, white flour and sugar as much as possible. Avoid trans-fats and partially hydrogenated oils completely.
Unlike other cancers, there is not a single action or bad habit that you can give up to reduce your risk of breast cancer. Eating a low-fat diet, high in fruits, vegetables, fiber, fish and olive oil as well as exercising regularly is your best defense. In addition, a positive mental attitude can go a long way in keeping your body happy and healthy.
Receive a free consultation from a dietitian with the American Dietitians for Health.