Regarded as the most common cancers in women, breast cancer affects 1 in every 8 women in the United States. Knowing the symptoms and risk factors that contribute to breast cancer is important. The outlook for breast cancer is very good with early detection and effective therapy options. Early detection of disease can improve survival rates and the rate of recovery.
There are several environmental and lifestyle factors that increase the risk of breast cancer. These include – age, genetics, gene mutations, obesity, unhealthy diet and more. Taking control of your health and developing healthy habits like exercise and good eating can lower the risk of developing breast cancer. In fact, following a healthy diet that supports breast health can reduce inflammation, improve metabolism and help maintain a healthy body weight – all of which may help reduce breast cancer risk. A healthy diet gives the body essential nutrients for repair and growth, provides energy and helps stabilize blood sugar and blood pressure levels. Listed below are top foods that help fight breast cancer –
- Leafy Green Vegetables – Kale, arugula, spinach, mustard greens, and chard are some of the leafy green vegetables that have anticancer properties. Leafy green vegetables contain carotenoid antioxidants (including beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin) – higher blood levels of which are associated with reduced breast cancer risk
- Fatty Fish – Fatty fish like – salmon, sardines, and mackerel – have high health benefits. The high omega-3 fats, selenium, and antioxidants like canthaxanthin have cancer-protective effect. Balancing omega-3 to omega-6 ratio by consuming more fatty fish and less refined oils may help reduce breast cancer risk.
- Berries – Regularly consuming berries may help reduce the risk of breast cancer. The antioxidant components in berries including flavonoids and anthocyanins can help protect against cellular damage, as well as the development and spread of cancer cells.
- Citrus Fruits – Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, and tangerines contain compounds such as Vitamin C, folate and carotenoids like beta cryptoxanthin and beta carotene, plus flavonoid antioxidants like quercetin, hesperetin, and naringenin that help protect against breast cancer cells. In addition, these help boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.
- Flaxseed – Rich in antioxidants, Flaxseed contains Omega-3 and has a component called “lignans” that may possibly decrease cancer growth. Studies report that flaxseed oil may help in preventing the growth of breast tumors. People can consume flaxseed in different ways. People can consume a tablespoon a day or they can buy ground flaxseed or grind the seeds themselves using a coffee grinder. In addition, flaxseeds can also be sprinkled on top of salads or include it in muffins.
- Fermented Foods – Fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, miso, and sauerkraut contain probiotics which promote a healthy gut and immune system. This assists with digestion and helps the body to get rid of toxins.
- Allium Vegetables – Allium vegetables like – garlic, onions, and leeks contain an array of nutrients, including organosulfur compounds, flavonoid antioxidants, and vitamin C. These components have powerful anticancer properties.
- Green Tea – Green tea contains catechins – a chemical that help in in breast cancer prevention. In addition, green tea may also be effective at slowing tumor growth and influencing other biological processes that contribute to breast cancer.
Educating yourself about the condition and making positive changes in your lifestyle hold the key to staying healthy and minimizing the risks of breast cancer. Staying physically and mentally active, maintaining a healthy body weight and not smoking can offer significant protection against breast cancer.