** This post was written several years ago but is one that many ask about, so wanted to share with you again today**
Breast Cancer Awareness month is this month, the month of October. With that said I wanted to share some tips that can help reduce your chance of developing breast cancer.
There is a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer in your life, but hopefully with this plan the odds will change. Although there are many drugs on the market and much research is being done, the odds of a woman getting cancer in her lifetime aren’t shrinking.
It seems that diet has a lot to do with the handling of this disease and it is something we can definitely control. Diet has be proven to be the most effective way to reduce your risk. There are many other suggestions such as exercise but today we will focus on 10 simple ways you can change your diet and start protecting yourself today.
1. Reduce your Fat – Limit your fat intake by 20 percent of your overall caloric intake. Research has proven that a diet high in fat will increase the risk of breast cancer. High fat diets have also been proven to produce chemicals in the intestine that bacteria convert to carcinogenic estrogens. These estrogens can then be stored in the fatty tissue of the breast, making the cells in the area more susceptible to cancer growth.
2. Choose Crunchy Veggies – Eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, turnips and cauliflower. It is best to steam them or eat them raw to best preserve their cancer fighting nutrients. These types of vegetables contain sulfurous compounds called indoles, which have shown to help eliminate estrogen from the body and prevent it from triggering the growth of breast cancer.
3. Increase your Fiber – Get plenty of fiber from foods such as vegetables and fruits, legumes and whole grains. The fiber tends to interrupt the metabolism of estrogen and decreases the blood levels of estrogen. The high levels of blood estrogen in the body are close in relation to higher risk of breast cancer. High fiber diets have been shown to reduce the risk of of breast cancer by up to 54 percent.
4. Try Seaweed- Try eating seaweeds such as kelp and nori or consider taking spirulina (blue algae) and chlorella in a glass of juice daily. High consumptions of kelp may explain the lower incidence of breast cancer in Japanese women. Kelp and chlorella have shown to have anti-carcinogenic effects.
5. Soy Secret – It is smart to eat soy products such as tofu, miso or tempeh. Soybeans and other soy products contain a plant estrogen called genistein. This plant estrogen binds to receptors in the breast, making it impossible for potentially cancer causing forms of estrogen to connect with breast cells.
6. Shop organic – Buy organic foods such as fruits, vegetables, meates, dairy and grains when ever possible. Organic products do not contain pesticides that have been linked to breast cancer. Dairy products and meats that are certified organic do not contain any growth hormones, such as bovine, a chemical usually fed to cows. This chemical has been shown to promote the growth of breast cancer cells.
7. Eat Fish – Eat at least 3 servings of cold water fish a week. Some cold water fish are tuna, salmon, halibute, cod and sardines. If you can’t eat fish you can take fish oil capsules or vegetarian supplements. The omega-3 oils inhibit the effects of compounds known as prostaglandins. Prostaglandins have been associated with inflammation that will suppress the immune systems’s ability to identify tumors. A higher consumption of fish and fish oil has been found to reduce the cases of cancer.
8. Choose the right oils – Avoid canola oil, safflower oil, sesame oil and margarine. It is best to use virgin and extra-virgin olive oil when cooking. Flaxseed oil is also very wise to use as long as it is not heated; can be added to foods already cooked. Olive oil, a monounsaturated fat has been linked to lower rates of cancer. Trans fats also called hydrogenated oils mainly found in margarine have been linked with high rates of cancer.
9. Add phytonutrients to your diet – Introduce nuts, legumes, seeds as well as fruits and a variety of vegetables to your diet. These particular foods contain phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are plant compounds that protect against cellular damage and prevent cancer growth. Cooking with herbs such as dill, which contains a phytochemical called limonene, is important for breast protection and rosemary has antioxidant and anti-tumor properties.
10. Mushrooms – Mushrooms have medicinal properties. Some medicinal mushrooms include the Japanese variety of shiitake and maitake. Studies have shown that maitake mushrooms actually stimulate the immune function and prevent tumor growth. The ingredients in maitake mushrooms do not kill the cancer cells directly, it activates the immune system protecting against breast cancer. Shitake mushrooms have also been found to boost the immune system.
Although there isn’t a cure for breast cancer, there are treatments that have helped many and have proven to be very successful. It’s important to stay informed by asking questions and doing research. Cancer sucks but don’t let it suck the life out of you.
Dr. Daisy Sutherland is the Founder/CEO of Dr. Mommy and Friends . She is a doctor, author, speaker, social media strategist, brand ambassador, wife & mom to 5 children. Dr. Mommy's mission is to ~ Help Busy Women and Men with her 'Get Real' approach to living a happier and healthier lifestyle. Don't forget to grab your FREE gift... 7 Simple Ways to Stay Motivated