Several Nutrients That Offer Cancer-Fighting Properties
When it comes to preventing breast cancer, there’s no surefire solution. However, paying attention to what you eat and the type of nutrients you fuel your body with is a great way to stay healthy and potentially reduce your risk.
Some research into the impact of food on health has uncovered a wide range of specific foods that fight breast cancer.
Take a look at the following nutrients.
Antioxidants, compounds that combat dangerous free radicals in the body, are essential components of a cancer-prevention diet. The antioxidant L-ergothioneine, which is found in mushrooms, can help lower the risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women, according to a study published in Nutrition and Cancer. Ellagic acid, an antioxidant in pomegranates, is also a potent anti-cancer compound.
University of Michigan researchers claims that another powerful anti-cancer antioxidant is sulforaphane. Fill your plate with cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, cabbage and cauliflower, to get plenty of this particular compound. Sulforaphane is also found in arugula, watercress and broccoli sprouts, so it’s easy to create a tasty salad designed to fight breast cancer.
Essential Vitamins and Minerals
All vitamins and minerals contribute to overall health, and many simultaneously act as antioxidants in the body. According to a study found in the American Journal of Epidemiology, one specific essential nutrient that should be part of your breast-cancer diet is folate, which is found in romaine lettuce, lentils, brewer’s yeast, fortified cereals, edamame, spinach, asparagus, and black beans. One to two servings of folate-rich foods can help you reach the recommended 400 micrograms per day you need to help reduce your breast cancer risk by up to 44 percent compared to women with diets low in folate.
Choline is another important nutrient for breast cancer prevention. The U.S. Institute of Medicine recommends women get a daily dose of 425 milligrams of choline per day from egg yolks, poultry, fish, pork, beef or wheat germ to reduce your breast cancer risk by up to 24 percent.
According to The Dr. Oz Show, eating more than 30 grams of fiber a day can significantly reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. Some studies indicate that fiber can lower the risk by up to 32 percent, and both soluble and insoluble fiber help.
Lentils and beans are full of soluble fiber, while whole grains contain plenty of insoluble fiber. Rye bread is particularly good for breast cancer prevention because it contains vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients in addition to fiber. Plus, fiber-rich foods are filling, which can help you maintain your weight. Keeping your weight down also reduces your risk of breast cancer.
Smart snacks along with healthy meals can help you keep breast cancer at bay. Eat about two ounces of walnuts each day to get a quick boost of healthy omega-3 fats, antioxidants, and fiber all at once.
A handful of blueberries is another good snack option, as blueberries contain a compound called pterostilbene. A study by researchers from Rutgers University suggests that this particular compound causes breast cancer cells to self-destruct in a laboratory environment and might be beneficial in the body as well.
The Right Fats
All fats aren’t created equal when it comes to breast cancer prevention, and some fats are actually useful in a cancer-prevention diet. Load your diet with healthy omega-3 fats for optimal benefits, suggest researchers from West Virginia’s Marshall University School of Medicine. Omega-3 fats work by reducing inflammation, which makes the body less hospitable to the development of breast cancer.
These fats are primarily found in fish, but you can also get omega-3s from flaxseed and nuts. If you’re opting to get most of your omega-3s from fish, researchers at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital suggests salmon as a smart choice. This is because it also contains plenty of vitamin D, which can prevent cells from becoming cancerous.
Whether you’re faced with a family history of breast cancer or are trying to improve your health to prevent a recurrence, eating right helps keep you healthy and disease-free.